Dan Caruso
Managing Director, Caruso Ventures
2022 Guest Speaker

Boulder, CO 

Dan Caruso is Managing Director of Caruso Ventures, a 3x decacorn entrepreneur and an avid supporter of entrepreneurship.

In 2020, Dan and Cindy Caruso founded Caruso Ventures, which represents their investment portfolio, family office, and not-for-profit activities. Most of Caruso Ventures’ direct investments are in support of the Colorado ecosystem. Current investments include Radia, Boom Supersonic, Guest House, Language I/O, Outside Interactive, Voyager Space Holdings, Spark Grills, Honest Jobs, Maybell Quantum Industries, Arryved, ColdQuanta, Codigo Tequila, Mindful Urgent Care, Pippin Title, Ninja Nation, Firefly, Chamba, and Zayo Group. Exited investments include euNetworks, Bolder Surgical, Envysion, GTS Central Europe, and Galvanize.

Dan was the Founding Partner, Chairman and CEO of Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO), where investors enjoyed a $8.5B equity exit on a $1.0B investment. Dan was a co-founding executive of Level 3 and joined Metropolitan Fiber Systems (MFS) as it began to scale. All three exited for enterprise values > $10B. Dan also led the take private of ICG, which achieved a 25X return and led to the ideation of Zayo.

Dan is a supporter of Colorado’s and Chicago’s entrepreneurial community, and is particularly interested in the intersection between tech scaleups and inclusion. He serves as Chairman of the Board for Endeavor Colorado and is on the boards of Colorado Thrives, University of Chicago’s Polsky Center and CU Boulder’s Chancellor Strategic Advisory Council. Dan was the original Steering Committee Chairman of Colorado’s Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.

In 2015, Dan and Cindy established The Caruso Foundation to Support Initiatives that Inspire Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Inclusion. The Caruso Foundation supports a number of impactful organizations including Startup Colorado, University of Chicago’s New Venture Challenge, University of Colorado Boulder’s Startup Summer, Catalyze CU, and New Venture Challenge, Chicago Quantum Exchange’s Accelerator Duality, Greenhouse Scholars and EforAll. 

Dan is a recipient of several awards including the Chicago Booth Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship, University of Illinois Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, Colorado Technology Association’s Bob Newman Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Colorado Leeds Corporate Partner Award (Zayo), and Colorado Governor’s Corporate Citizenship Medal.

Dan gave the commencement address for the University of Illinois Grainger College of Engineering (2019) and the University of Colorado Boulder MBA (2020).

Dan holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois.