Earlier this week Split Rock Partners did a press release regarding my entrepreneur in residence (EIR) with the firm. The first question friends of mine have asked is “What exactly is an entrepreneur in residence?” Wikipedia highlights an EIR as:

The EIR role is often designed to fill one of three primary functions:

  • To launch a new entrepreneurial venture, often with the backing of the parent firm or organization;
  • To assist in the evaluation of potential investments where the entrepreneur has a particular expertise; or
  • To provide functional expertise to assist with an existing investment.

That is a great recap of what I will be doing with Split Rock. The partners have given me a place to office and the opportunity to get and give early feedback around potential business ventures.

A couple of other items about EIR roles. There are other “in residence"programs. For example, artist in residence seems to be a fairly well established. I’ve also seen writer in residence as well as journalist in residence pop up. Lastly, just to be clear, the EIR role is a partnership. I’m not an employee at the firm, and this isn’t a “job”. It is a formal collaboration and a vehicle for us to work together.

I am excited to work with the partners at Split Rock and will make the most of such a unique opportunity!

Jamie Thingelstad joins Split Rock Partners as an Entrepreneur in Residence

Former Dow Jones executive will focus on emerging opportunities in digital media

Minneapolis, MN, July 27 – Split Rock Partners, a venture capital firm focused on emerging software and internet services companies, is pleased to announce that Jamie Thingelstad, former Vice President, Chief Technology Officer of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, the consumer division of Dow Jones & Company and Chief Technology Officer of MarketWatch, Inc., is affiliated with the firm as an Entrepreneur in Residence (“EIR”).

Mr. Thingelstad was founding Chief Technology Officer of BigCharts, Inc. through its acquisition by MarketWatch in 1999. BigCharts was a pioneer in delivering real-time financial information via the web, and provided financial tools offered by the majority of top financial services firms at the time of the acquisition.

MarketWatch was subsequently acquired by Dow Jones, and Mr. Thingelstad continued to take on progressively larger responsibilities within the Dow Jones organization. In his last role, he served as Chief Technology Officer of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, a leading provider of financial and investment news through sites sites such as the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barrons. During his tenure, the network properties grew substantially in audience, and introduced several new product offerings. Prior to that Mr. Thingelstad was Chief Technology Officer for the Enterprise Media Group of Dow Jones where he oversaw the development efforts for Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Indexes and other business services offered by the company.

“Jamie is an accomplished entrepreneur and brings great insight into the intersection of the internet, new media, and the implications for next-generation business models,” said Michael Gorman, a Managing Director at Split Rock Partners. “As a pioneer in digital media, he is intimately familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities presented by the convergence of new technologies, consumer behavior, advertiser objectives and industry economics. We look forward to applying his insights to the process of identifying the most promising opportunities taking advantage of these dynamic trends.”

As an EIR with Split Rock Partners, Mr. Thingelstad will be evaluating opportunities defining the next generation of digital media, the increasing opportunities in social applications on the web as well as the continuous evolution of the web as a platform.

“I am excited to explore how new technologies can build upon the foundation of traditional media, while creating new opportunities to meet the needs of consumers and businesses in unanticipated ways,” said Mr. Thingelstad. “We are still at an early stage in the transformation of digital content production, delivery and consumption, and in that transformation lies opportunity. I am pleased to partner with the Split Rock team given their track record of partnering with entrepreneurs to translate the potential of breakthrough ideas into leading companies.”

About Split Rock Partners

Split Rock Partners, with offices in Minneapolis and Menlo Park, seeks emerging opportunities in healthcare, software, and Internet services primarily in the Upper Midwest and West Coast. Split Rock was formed in June 2004 by the teams responsible for healthcare, software and Internet services investments for St. Paul Venture Capital (SPVC) and continues to manage SPVC’s portfolio in those sectors. Split Rock closed a $275 million inaugural fund in April of 2005, and a $300 million second fund in May, 2008. Representative companies backed by Split Rock’s team include Atritech, Disc Dynamics, EBR, eBureau, Entellus, Evalve, Gearworks, Internet Broadcasting, HireRight, LowerMyBills.com, MyNewPlace, QuinStreet, and Tornier. Additional information about the firm can be found at www.splitrock.com.

See this release on MarketWatch.com.