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Dear Friends,

In launching Forward Venture Partners in early 2016, my goal was to use a series of processes that we had used to launch some startups and that we had improved by helping others do the same to create a startup studio. The idea was to use our own resources to test several business ideas and to launch those that made sense for us to launch.

We think that the model of the startup studio makes a lot of sense, and I still believe in it. However, we have come to believe that the model is not the one that we want to continue pursuing at the moment. While we may revisit the startup studio model in the future, for now, we shall do what we have done with some success in the past – pivot.

We have long been keen about the education marketplace. This is, after all, the focus of our first business, the Donovan Group. As the education marketplace evolves, we want to be part of this work. However, instead of being on the front end of the education marketplace with early-stage funding, we are focused on advising those who are involved in later-stage investments.

The evolution of Forward Venture Partners to Forward Advisors signals a new chapter for us, one that we think allows us to better serve the marketplace and to have an immediate impact.

The name Forward is as appropriate for this new venture as it was for the last, in that, we seek to continue to leverage what we know in a new and exciting way. It is also a more than subtle nod to our home state of Wisconsin and its one-word motto.

I would be remiss if I did not thank all the people who have embraced the idea of the startup studio model and who have offered us encouragement. We are immensely grateful.


Joe Donovan
Forward Advisors
July, 2017