The Team Behind Next Frontier Capital
WILL PRICE, founder and general partner
Will founded Next Frontier Capital to partner with mission-driven, talented entrepreneurs to build Montana technology companies of impact, utility, value. Will’s career spans venture capital investing as well as operational, transactional, and advisory roles at both public and private companies. With a Montana family history dating to the 1850s, Will is passionate about investing in the state’s promising future.
Will’s ancestor, Telesphore Jacques deMers, was one of early Montana’s most dynamic entrepreneurs with investments in cattle, freight, retail, ferrying, hotels, and founded DeMersville, precursor to modern day Kalispell.
Prior to Next Frontier Capital, Will served as CEO of Flite, an advertising and analytics platform. In 2016, Flite was acquired by Snap, the parent company of SnapChat. During his six year tenure, Will built a market leading organization capable of serving and analyzing billions of ad interactions, sold enterprise customers such as Procter & Gamble, The New York Times, and LinkedIn, raised capital from leading venture capitalists, including Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst, and strategic customers Conde Nast, Jive Software, and Publicis.
Previously, Will served as a Managing Director at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, where he focused on SaaS and open source. Will helped lead investments in Mulesoft, Sonatype, SlideRocket, Flite, among others. Will joined Hummer Winblad from Pequot Capital, where he focused on software investing. Earlier in his career Will worked for Morgan Stanley in NYC, Hong Kong, and the ASEAN markets focused on the privatization of state-owned assets.
Will represents Next Frontier Capital on the board of numerous companies, including SiteOne Therapeutics, Submittable, Quiq, Halp, OptioSurgical, and others. In addition, Will serves on the board of the National Venture Capital Association.
Will graduated from Harvard College, studied Mandarin at Nanjing University, and earned his M.B.A from Northwestern University, where he graduated at the top of his class. Will writes about venture, leadership, and entrepreneurship on LinkedIn.
Will is married and the father of two active boys. In addition to Next Frontier Capital and family, Will’s passions include the outdoors, aviation, and fundraising for conservation groups. He serves on the boards of the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, American Prairie Reserve, MSU's Tech Transfer Office, MSU’s Jake Jabs School of Business, and is a member of Bozeman's Sunrise Rotary Club.
richard harjes, GENERAL partner
Richard is a General Partner at Next Frontier Capital and brings decades of investment experience to the fund. Along with his wife, he is co-founder of Willow Spring Ranch Montana, a ranch devoted to sustainably raising organic lamb for the local and national gourmet market.
Richard represents Next Frontier Capital on the board of Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, IronCore Labs, Ataata, and is a board observer of Clearas.
Prior to Bozeman, Richard had a long-term career in quantitative investments – computerized, model-based investment strategies employing statistical modeling and machine learning techniques, analyzing and making thousands of small investment decisions on a minute-by-minute basis. Throughout his career, Richard built, grew and/or managed a number of highly successful investment teams with PhD level expertise in statistics, computer science, math and physics. He was Managing Director of the Statistical Arbitrage business at Citadel Investment Group in Chicago, founding the group responsible for the quantitative trading of equities at the firm. Prior to this, he was Director of Research and partner at Numeric Investors, a quantitative equity fund in Boston where he founded investment strategies and ran the overall research effort. Early in his career, Richard was one of the founding members of the Alpha Strategies Group at Barclays Global Investors, contributing to that effort by establishing the group’s research platform, strong investment returns and exceptional client and asset growth. Richard has served on the faculties of Duke University and the University of Arizona and is published in major academic journals.
In addition to his business pursuits, Richard serves on the board of directors of the Children’s Museum of Bozeman. He founded and is one of the creative drivers behind the Museum’s STEAMlab – a hands-on, high-tech science and technology learning center focused on circuits, robotics and 3D printing, and expanding opportunities for the kids of Southwest Montana.
Les Craig, Partner
Prior to joining Next Frontier Capital, Les served as the Executive Director of the Montana State University Innovation Campus. In less than 16 months, he successfully built a partnership between a private developer, the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development, and the MSU Alumni Foundation, to develop a 42-acre Research Park in Bozeman, MT focused on technology and research commercialization.
Les moved to Montana as the result of MSU’s national search to hire a Director for the Blackstone LaunchPad, a campus based entrepreneurship program funded by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. In February of 2015, Les became the Director of MSU’s Blackstone programming where he passionately mentored and encouraged students, alumni, and faculty to pursue entrepreneurial careers. In the Summer of 2016, Les received funding from the Small Business Administration to launch 406 Labs, Montana’s first accelerator program. The program ran its first cohort in the Fall of 2016 and is strategically positioned to focus on preparing MSU’s highest potential technologies and founders for growth and scale.
In 2014, Les Co-founded The Twenty, a data science services company based in Bethesda, MD which operates a high-profile network of senior mathematicians and computer scientists focused on specialized project based work for clients ranging from start-ups to publicly traded companies and even government organizations.
Prior to The Twenty, Les Co-founded RedOwl Analytics, a software product company which built a platform for identifying trends and anomalies in the digital trail of corporations in order to combat insider threat and mitigate risk in financial services, cyber security, and US government spaces. RedOwl was acquired by Forcepoint (Raytheon) in August of 2017.
Previously, Les served as a Technical Operations Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency where he received specialized training in telecommunications and computer network operations.
Prior to his time at the CIA, Les was a member of the professional staff of the National Security Technology Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. He led an Operations Research team in the development of powerful predictive and geospatial analytic products used to make battlefield decisions related to the counter improvised explosive device fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While on active duty, Les served on multiple special operations task forces, as well as an Aide-de-camp to a senior intelligence professional on General Stanley McChrystal’s staff at the Joint Special Operations Command.
Les is grateful for the opportunity to raise his family in Montana with his amazing wife, Anne Meree, and three beautiful children – Max, Emi, and Hunter.
Liam Cleary, Associate
Liam is a Bioinformatics and Computational Biology major at Harvard University. He most recently worked for Lily Transportation in their Logistics Department, and spent prior summers working for Lookout Farm, a small craft brewer of ciders and beers in his native Massachusetts.
Before college, Liam spent a year in Germany playing for a junior hockey program based in Bavaria, and today he continues to play hockey for several adult teams in the Bozeman area.
KATIE ELLIG, Associate
Katie is studying international business in the World Bachelor in Business Program, a collaborative degree program between the University of Southern California, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Before her time at Next Frontier Capital, Katie worked as a consultant for the Swiss NGO Helvetas on their Andean Forests Programme in Peru, and was a marketing and research intern for The Lever Institute, a Los Angeles-based emergency medicine research organization.
Katie was born and raised in Bozeman, and enjoys hiking and camping with friends and family across Montana.
Sam schwerin, investment committee Fund
Sam Schwerin is co-founder and Managing Partner of Millennium Technology Value Partners.
He is responsible for Millennium’s investments in Facebook (FB), Alibaba (BABA), Chegg (CHGG), Good Technology, Lookout, Inspirato and PrecisionHawk, where he is a member of the Board of Directors. In addition, Sam was responsible for prior realizations that include Agility Communications (JDSU), Aventail (SNWL), Axsun Technologies (Volcano Corp.), Datapipe (ABRY), First Virtual Communications (RVSN), HauteLook (JWN), Indus (IINT), ID Analytics (LOCK), NetSpend (TSS), Ning (Glam Media), Phobos (SNWL), PlaySpan (V), Requisite Technology (CKCM), Tellme Networks (MSFT), Twitter (TWTR), Wayport (T) and Zappos (AMZN).
Prior to Millennium, Sam was with The Blackstone Group and Salomon Brothers in roles that ranged from venture capital investments to multi-billion dollar merger and acquisitions advisory assignments. Sam has also been involved in the founding and management of several companies. He co-founded and served as CFO and Vice President, Corporate Development at OpenPeak, a leading mobile enterprise management company. Prior to OpenPeak, Sam served as Vice President of Finance and Strategy at StorageApps, a pioneering storage virtualization and network management company acquired by Hewlett-Packard. Sam holds a M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. from Lehigh University. He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Lehigh Leadership Council.