Michael C. Gruber
Michael Gruber is a Managing Partner. Mr. Gruber has over 20 years of experience working with early stage investments, particularly in the information technology, financial services, energy, and agriculture sectors. Mr. Gruber is a founding Partner of Independence Equity, a committed venture capital fund focused on investments focused on improving resource utilization, with key areas of interest including: water; energy efficiency; material science; and agriculture. Mr. Gruber had served as Director at Taproot Ventures, an early stage investment affiliate of The Harbour Group, an investment holding company with assets under management exceeding $1.5 Billion. Mr. Gruber has founded and run several private investment organizations of high net worth investors and family offices focused on growth stage investments, including Cornerstone Angels and its affiliate Cornerstone Opportunity Partners, LLC. Collectively, the portfolio companies have raised in excess of $2.5 Billion in capital.
Mr. Gruber’s prior industry experience includes key operational roles in high-growth corporations (Koei Corporation, Intuit, InsWeb, Silicon Investor), two of which went public and one of which was acquired by a strategic investor. In addition, Mr. Gruber has significant investment banking and M&A transaction advisory experience.
Mr. Gruber has become active in the cannabis business as both an advisor, mentor, investor, and speaker, and leverages his experience across technology, financial services, agriculture, and energy, all which are crucial within the cannabis industry. Mr. Gruber has been active in the capital raising for a large scale cultivation company, with national expansion efforts, and has executed investments into SeedCx (commodities futures exchange for hemp and cannabis) and Growcentia ( a microbial bio-stimulant platform that liberates key nutrients to maximize plant growth).
Mr. Gruber currently serves on several boards of emerging growth companies. Mr. Gruber received a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, and a certificate in Japanese from Nanzan University in Japan. Mr. Gruber is also a frequent speaker and panelist relating to entrepreneurship and venture capital.
Mr. Gruber lives in the north suburbs of Chicago with his wife and four children (all boys). Mr. Gruber is a competitive athlete (with a love for snowboarding, golf and tennis), and highly enjoys traveling, including food & drink exploration.