persona persona

Our Fund

Brightstone is an early-growth stage venture capital firm based in Minneapolis. Since 1985, Brightstone has managed 11 venture partnerships, and we have been humbled to see the dramatic impact that our startups have had on the world. These companies share common beginnings- a few people banding together and taking a leap into the unknown. The heightened sense of excitement when pushing beta code to production. Discovering that the world wants to do something entirely different with a product. A nerve-racking decision to pass on a major partnership to stay focused on the mission. These are the moments we cherish being a part of, and we are grateful to our entrepreneurs for allowing us to be a part of their journey.

Brightstone currently manages a $100 million venture fund focused on early-growth stage investment opportunities. We leverage the deep operating experience and successful investment background of the Fund’s partners, primarily focused on investing in the following sectors:


  • Data Storage and Management
  • Virtual/Augmented Reality
  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Enterprise Security
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud Infrastructure
  • Marketplaces

Life Sciences

  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Stem Cell
  • Next Gen Diagnostics
  • Genomics/Gene Editing
  • Medical Device
  • Drug Discovery Tools and Platforms
  • Personalized Medicine

Quick Facts

David Dalvey

15 Years Venture Fund Partner experience
10 years Technology Investment Banking
33 years corporate board director/advisor
25 years portfolio management experience with technology and life-science businesses.
Director roles with Homespotter, Definity Health, AppTec Laboratories, Navarre Corp., chf Solutions, Agiliti, Nature Vision, Celcuity and Bite Squad.

Patrick O'Shaughnessy

12 Years venture investment and investment banking experience
16 years early stage management as CEO, COO, VP Sales/Marketing, VP Finance
Experience in Oil & Gas, Information Technology, Life Sciences and Consumer Products

Jeff Cowan

30 years venture finance/investment in early to mid-stage businesses
30 years experience founder/manager with Fin-Tech, cybersecurity and AI life-science industries
Co-Founded/managed financial services company for 20 years until acquired by Hitachi in 2016
Co-Founded/managed A.I. Healthcare firm sold in 3rd year of ops for $120 million

Our Advisors

    Tom Kieffer
    John Erb
    John Erb
    Seth DeGroot
    Seth DeGroot
    Daren Klum
    Daren Klum
    David Novak
    David Novak
    Dan Gladney
    Dan Gladney
    Tony Petelin
    Tony Petelin
    James Bracke
    Abir Sen
    Abir Sen
    Grant Mitchell
    Grant Mitchell
    Dan Sullivan
    Dan Sullivan
    Mark Christopherson
    Mark Christopherson
    Eric Yusefzadeh
    Eric Yusefzadeh
    Joe Sriver
    Joe Sriver

Our Portfolio

  • VRchat

  • Celcuity

  • Bite Squad

  • StemoniX

  • Wasabi

  • CNEX Labs

  • Gravie

  • Miromatrix

  • Homespotter

  • Flipgrid

  • Vathys

  • CodeStream

  • Viosera

  • Intact

  • Aria CV

  • Eternal

  • Cryosa

  • Afriex

  • Xplore

  • Mosaic

  • Flyr Labs

Our Criteria

We identify and support highly talented people
Solving a meaningful and quantifiable problem
Addressing large and growing markets
Using technology to gain a defensible advantage

At Brightstone, we fundamentally like large problems that are amenable to technological disruption. We seek out defensible advantages: proprietary and protected technological advances, business model innovations, and unique partnerships. Most importantly, we invest in “A” teams and founders with a demonstrable history of development/traction. We invest more in people than in a specific plan, because plans often change.

Knowing and doing what it takes to foster winners

We are in the company-building business, not the “deal” or “investment” business. We have a history of leveraging relationships to build teams, attract partners and customers and help build significant businesses. We are active partners who do everything we can for our portfolio companies and have not forgotten how to hustle. We get our hands dirty.

We prefer brutal honesty to “Minnesota niceness”. We seldom vote against management teams in our board roles, but we can have strong opinions. We will challenge you without confronting you. Once we pick a management team, we back it and don’t second-guess it. We are less about sweet talk and more about helping you build a business. We are definitely not about controlling ownership in your business.