Top 50 Rising Stars 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Jake Nice, principal, Nationwide Ventures

John “Jake” Nice works at Nationwide Ventures, a corporate venture capital (CVC) vehicle for US-based insurance and financial services group Nationwide. He joined the unit in March 2018 as a senior associate before ascending to principal nine months later.

Erik Ross, head of Nationwide Ventures, said: “Jake is one of those high-bandwidth overachievers that has a passion for both technology and early-stage companies. Having been an operator, he has the rare ability to empathize with founders, provide guidance based on his scaling experiences and bring to bear the assets of a Fortune 100 company, creating win-win relationships for our portfolio companies and Nationwide. We are honoured to have him on the team.”

Amelia Gandara, principal of operations at Nationwide Ventures, added on behalf of the unit: “He has leveraged his personal lending and finance skills to source, quickly evaluate and close deals, notably helping us land our investment in [business finance provider] BlueVine. The relationship between BlueVine and Nationwide is already blossoming via a co-marketing agreement.”

Apart from its participation in BlueVine’s $72m series E round in August 2018, Nationwide Ventures has also taken part in property analysis software developer Betterview’s $4.5m series A round in May 2019 and cybersecurity technology developer Upstream Security’s $30m series B round five months after.

Prior to joining Nationwide Ventures, Nice had spent more than four years at fintech startup Avant where he held associate and managerial roles and led the development of a number of customer acquisition platforms. For instance, he helped launch the Powered by Avant business unit, the bank partnership service now known as Amount.

Nice began his career as an investment banking analyst in New York City at BMO Capital Markets in the US debt capital markets group, having earned a bachelor of business administration in finance from Villanova University, where he participated in Villanova Equity Society as a chief investment officer.