About Us

Cornerstone Angels seeks to provide financial capital and mentorship to early-stage companies in the greater Midwest. Our group is a private investment organization composed of highly successful executives, entrepreneurs, and investors.  Cornerstone orchestrates a rigorous and disciplined approach to angel investing.

Our goal is to help bridge the widening gap between initial start-up capital and institutional financing.  We target investment opportunities ranging from $250K to $2MM with our members often syndicating with other angel or venture capital investors.  We also seek opportunities where our members can add value to help our portfolio companies achieve critical milestones.

We are primarily focused on building a dynamic entrepreneurial and investor community in the Midwest, though we will consider selected opportunities across the country.

Cornerstone Angels actively seeks to make contributions to the community and local charities, which includes evaluating socially conscious investment opportunities.

Management

Michael Gruber

Michael Gruber founded Cornerstone Angels and was a founding member of Keiretsu Forum in 2000, and served as the Founder and President of Keiretsu Forum Chicago/Midwest.  Michael has been advising companies and investing in start-up companies since 1995.

Mr. Gruber has extensive experience with early stage investments particularly in the information technology, material science, and energy sectors. Mr. Gruber is a Partner and Co-Founder of G4 Capital LLC and VentureLab, where he works with emerging growth companies in interim executive capacities on go-to-market and financial strategies. Mr. Gruber also serves as an Investment Partner of the Independence Equity Fund, a venture capital fund that invests in early-stage companies commercializing technologies that improve resource utilization.  Mr. Gruber is also a Managing Partner of Salveo 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. Mr. Gruber was also a Director of Taproot Ventures, an early stage investment affiliate of the Harbour Group, an investment and holding company with assets under management exceeding $1.3 Billion.

Mr. Gruber has executed a significant number of capital raising and equity assignments with high growth companies while a Managing Director at investment banks.  In addition, Mr. Gruber had provided research analysis for Goldman Sachs within the retail sector.

Mr. Gruber has served on many company boards and advisory committees, which currently includes (select list):

  • JavaMaster International
  • Front Range Biosciences, Inc.
  • SDBIC, Inc.
  • Algal Scientific
  • KitoTech Medical
  • Institute for Sustainability and Energy (ISEN) and NUvention Energy at Northwestern University

Mr. Gruber received a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, and had intensive Japanese language training at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan.