07 Dec IU Ventures bolsters Executive in Residence Program with addition of Kathy Fields, experienced private equity leader
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Kathy Fields has decades of experience structuring and executing multimillion dollar investments for public and private companies and investors, leading companies through major mergers and acquisitions, navigating complex legal and compliance activities, helping businesses recruit and retain C-suite talent, and advising leaders on critical corporate matters.
But at the end of the day, the Indiana University alumna prefers to consider herself as, quite simply, a “problem solver” and an individual who gets the most pleasure in helping other entrepreneurs and innovators — especially those just starting out — achieve the greatest success.
As such, Fields, a general partner at JMI Equity, is enthusiastic about joining the talented cohort of business leaders who make up the inaugural Executive in Residence Program at IU Ventures. IU Ventures helps IU students, faculty, staff and alumni advance startups and new companies through financial or other forms of support. Fields will be part of an initiative designed to accelerate the development of new IU-affiliated ventures by sharing insights and real-world experience with the founders and leaders of companies in the IU Ventures portfolio.
“Nothing makes me happier than working with companies that add jobs, create wealth and improve people’s lives,” Fields said. “It’s the embodiment of doing good by doing well.
“Over the course of my life I’ve had many opportunities to have an impact on the development of early-stage companies and the growth of our communities, and the Executive in Residence Program at IU Ventures is another one of those. It’s a combination of what I love to do and a place — Indiana University — that I love coming back to.”
A graduate of the IU Kelley School of Business, Fields has worked in the private equity sector for three decades.
Currently, she leads deal structuring and execution and SEC registration for JMI, a growth equity firm based in San Diego and Baltimore that focuses on investing in leading software companies. Since joining the firm in 2013, she has led the structuring and execution of more than 75 investments for international enterprise software and technology enabled services companies with valuations ranging from $50 million to over $10 billion. Until last month, she was also chief compliance officer and general counsel responsible for compliance, legal, and firm administrative functions. Fields will transition to senior advisor at the firm at the end of December.
Before joining JMI Equity, she was a partner in the corporate, private equity and technology company groups at Goodwin Procter, where she co-led the launch of the Global 50 law firm’s Northern California office and served as co-chair of its Silicon Valley office, which she helped grow from six to 75 attorneys.
Fields will now bring another experienced, knowledgeable voice to IU Ventures’ EIR program, which is different from other programs of its kind. Because of the unique skill sets and experiences of its members, it is focused on both mentoring founders in the IU Ventures pipeline looking to grow their startup businesses as well as working directly with the organization’s staff to evaluate new investment opportunities.
“It’s clear that this is a team of executives who want to learn from each other, harness its collective power to advance IU-affiliated companies and engage other successful IU alumni who want to build a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Indiana,” she said. “It’s also a team that can broaden opportunities for students who might not always be exposed to the worlds of investing and venture capital. There are big swaths of talented students who don’t know all the career paths that exist in these worlds. Our group can help the entrepreneurial ecosystem become more diverse over racial, gender, socioeconomic and other key metrics.”
Fields sits on the boards of Swiftly, Kognitiv, the American Online Giving Foundation and Friends of Downtown San Diego. She sat on the board of SpaceIQ until its combination with iOffice in 2021.
“We are delighted to welcome Kathy to the EIR program,” said Teri Willey, managing director of IU Ventures and fund manager for the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund and the Innovate Indiana Fund. “Over the last 30 years, she has demonstrated a proven ability to helping the leaders of companies seize major growth opportunities, find and retain talent, and navigate the many challenges they face in a constantly evolving tech and regulatory environment. All of us look forward to the insights and experiences she will bring to a group that promises to have a major impact in accelerating the growth of our portfolio companies and advancing opportunities for entrepreneurship, especially for people who have been traditionally underrepresented as founders and investors.”
Read an earlier IU press release about the launch and inaugural class of the EIR program.
About IU Ventures:
IU Ventures invests in and supports early-stage companies through three programs: the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, IU Angel Network, and IU Founders and Funders network. Each program takes unique approaches to accelerate and support the positive impacts that entrepreneurs affiliated with IU already achieve across the world. In Indiana alone, IU Ventures made new and follow-on investments in 19 companies during 2020-21, was recognized as one of the top three most active funds in the state and received the MIRA Venture Fund of the Year award. More than 50 percent of the companies in which IU Ventures has invested since 2018 have had women or minority founders, CEOs or other C-suite members.