Meet Your Next Capital
MVC invests in optimism, ingenuity and humanity’s insatiable desire to creatively improve.
Meet the Team
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We are founders, hustlers, collaborators, and investors. We pride ourselves on hard work, integrity, fairness, and transparency.
Two years out of college, David founded InnFlux, one of the largest and most profitable hotel WiFi and telecom companies before successfully exiting in 2011 and again in 2015 to private equity.
In 2006, after the successful turnaround and sale of PowerSurge Webhosting, he launched Micro Private Equity firm iEstates, which builds and buys digital media businesses and assets, including Bourbon.com, Austin.com, Employer.com, and more.
He later founded one of the largest and most profitable video hiring platforms, RIVS, before successfully exiting in 2019 to private equity.
In 2012, David co-founded IrishAngels, a Notre Dame affiliated angel investor group that now deploys more than $10mm per year into early-stage companies, and served as Chairman until 2019 when he cofounded Motivate with longtime friend and co-investor Lauren DeLuca.
David is a prolific early stage investor, placing more than 150 early stage investments in companies like Chime, Public.com, Robinhood, Pipe, Pantera Capital, Unsplash, HomeChef, NoRedInk, and Techstars, as well as being an LP in 17 early stage funds.
David earned a BA in Government and Philosophy from Notre Dame, earned an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, and studied Venture Capital and Private Equity through Harvard’s Executive Education program.
When he’s not playing gigs with his Dad Band, David enjoys skiing, fishing, traveling, and boating with his wife and three kids.
Lauren spent his operating career at the intersection of technology and capital markets.
He co-founded Oxford Intelligence Partners, a FinTech serving Fortune 500 Investor Relations Officers until its sale to Q4 in 2015 (TSE: QFOR).
Lauren was also a founding partner of Victory Networks, a low-latency trading infrastructure provider that sold to QuantHouse (now Iress) in 2017.
He co-founded Sumo Capital, a Chicago and NYC-based multi-strategy proprietary trading firm, in 2008.
He has been an active early-stage investor since 2012 with a focus on fintech and SaaS angel rounds. Prior to Motivate, he served as RIVS Director from founding through exit.
At Motivate, Lauren focuses on fintech and B2B software at the earliest stages – from idea through Seed – often supporting founders with incredible domain expertise and a non-consensus industry worldview.
Lauren earned his BA from Notre Dame in 2001, where he and fellow GP David Wieland first connected more than 20 years ago. He received his MBA in 2015 from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business.
He lives in Chicago with his wife and, after writing this bio, now realizes he is desperately in need of a hobby.
Jackson Bubala is a Principal at Motivate Ventures where he focuses on investments in fintech and enterprise software.
Prior to joining Motivate, Jackson was a Senior Associate at Manifold Group, a venture capital and innovation consulting firm. While at Manifold, Jackson led several early-stage fintech investments and helped build software products and incubate startups for F500 and large private enterprises.
Jackson graduated from Dartmouth College where he earned a B.A. in Government and played for the baseball team. He currently serves on the Young Professionals Board for Good Sports, a local non-profit providing sporting equipment and apparel to underserved youth communities.
Prior to joining Motivate, Courtney was an MBA Associate at Chicago Ventures where sourced deals and helped with investments across a variety of sectors. In addition to investment related activity, she worked on various internal projects for the fund, including strategy refinement and portfolio company support.
Before Chicago Ventures, she also spent some time at West Loop Ventures focusing on early stage b2b fintech investments. Prior to launching a career in venture, Courtney was a Vice President at Duff & Phelps in the financial consulting and valuation services practice, and she primarily worked with clients in the financial services and technology industries, along with several other verticals.
Courtney has a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management with a major in Finance and a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.
When she’s not meeting new founders or working with existing Motivate portfolio companies, you can likely find Courtney running along the lakefront in preparation for her next marathon.
Bonnie Kearns joined Motivate in 2023. She is responsible for overseeing and optimizing the firm’s internal processes and aligning operational strategies with the firm’s investment goals and objectives.
Bonnie previously worked at Centana Growth Partners, a growth-equity fintech-focused fund where she led the Investor Relations efforts since 2015.
Prior to Centana, she was on the business development team at FTV Capital, a private equity firm in San Francisco. Bonnie holds a B.S. in International, Resource and Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In her spare time, she enjoys coaching her three kids from the sidelines with her husband, Patrick.