LANSING – Jeff Wesley has been named executive director of Red Cedar Ventures by the Michigan State University Foundation. He will focus on managing and growing the company’s venture investment portfolio of companies commercializing intellectual property created at MSU.
An alumnus of Central Michigan University, Wesley served as an executive with Two Men and a Truck, from 2008 to 2017, holding the positions of CFO and then CEO. During that time, the company became one of the fastest growing franchise systems in the United States and earning its place among Crain’s Detroit Business’ “Cool Places to Work.” In 2017, Wesley was nationally recognized as a top franchise executive and was an Inc. 5000 award winner.
As executive director, Wesley will provide strategic planning advice and executive coaching to both newly formed companies and startups already existing within Red Cedar’s investment portfolio. Under these auspices, he will assist portfolio companies raise outside funding aimed at scaling up Michigan State University-based companies.
“Jeff Wesley is an exceptional executive,” said David Washburn, executive director of the MSU Foundation. “At Red Cedar Ventures, we want our portfolio companies to receive the support necessary to ignite their growth and fuel their success. Jeff’s track-record proves he can take entrepreneurs’ ideas from vision to value creation.”
“I am excited to do my part in helping these companies succeed,” said Wesley. “I’m joining an impressive team and, together, we will continue to build successful companies and a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in the heart of Michigan.”
Launched in 2014, Red Cedar Ventures is an early-stage venture fund, investing in companies commercializing Michigan State intellectual property. Over the past three years, the fund has deployed over $2 Million across 21 companies, which have gone on to raise over $50 Million in outside funds.