Jack founded Blue Chip in 1990, the first institutional VC firm in its Midwest geographical region, and among the first in the VC industry to be built on the consumer marketing principles and disciplines of brand management as employed by The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). P&G developed the first brand management system, and is the world’s largest advertiser. Jack began his business career in brand management at P&G in 1970.
Home-based in Cincinnati, the influence of consumer marketing professionals in Blue Chip’s Cincinnati home-base has impacted the Firm and many of its portfolio companies. Three of its five board members and most of its venture partners were long term P&G executives.
Jack’s activity has evolved from old to new digital media and big data companies, which represent most of Blue Chip’s investments over the past five years.
Prior to Blue Chip, Jack spent 16 years in entrepreneurial settings as the founder and CEO of two venture-backed start-up companies. Home Entertainment Network (HEN) built and operated TV stations in Chicago, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Minneapolis. The company originated and syndicated live sporting events, and in the early 1980’s created, programmed and managed the first pay TV networks for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota North Stars, and Minnesota Twins. In addition, HEN promoted and televised live college basketball, hockey, and championship boxing matches.
Nutrition Technology Corporation (NTC) created and marketed consumer products sold nationally through retail and institutional channels. The products included AppleWays, a full line of nutritional products, and Fibbers (“the taste fibs about the fiber”), the first retail high fiber cookie. VC investors included Frontenac Company and Primus Capital. Both companies, HEN and NTC, were sold to strategic acquirers.
With P&G, Jack worked on a number of brands in the packaged soap & detergent division. The experience included several brand re-stagings, new product introductions, and in 1972 he planned and managed the largest sale of P&G products to a new retail customer, Dollar General Stores.
In 1975, he left P&G to become the marketing director of Kings Island, owned by Taft Broadcasting Company. There Jack led the market testing and expansion of in-park live entertainment, the televised 1977 Evel Knievel 14 bus jump, and staged two live bicentennial TV specials in 1976. Jack negotiated and led the design, construction, and 1978 opening of the College Football Hall of Fame under a joint venture with the National Football Foundation, with which he has a continuing business association.
Under Blue Chip, Jack has served on 40 portfolio company boards, led audit, compensation and strategic sale committees, and has published a corporate governance handbook for VCs. He has authored over 100 poems, which are displayed on the walls of a number of Blue Chip portfolio company offices. In addition, he is a member of Queen City Angels and a founder and director of CBank, a commercial lender launched in 2007.
His professional recognition has included awards for “Excellence in Entrepreneurship” in 1998 by Denison University, the Seal of the Cincinnati, the city’s highest honor in 1993, “Distinguished Professional Achievement” by Chase Law College in 1997, and “Lifetime Achievement” in 2002 by the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association for helping initiate the growth of a regional VC industry and its entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Association for Corporate Growth awarded him its highest honor, the “Master Deal-maker Award” in 2007.
Jack graduated with a B.A. degree from Denison University in 1968 with a double major in political science and communications, and was president of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, where he led the racial integration of this national fraternity. He earned a J.D. degree from Salmon P. Chase College of Law in 1977.
In the community, Jack is or has been a board member of the Cincinnati NPR affiliate, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, the Hamilton County Economic Development Taskforce, Council for Economic Education, and the Cincinnati Film Commission. He created and taught for 10 years an MBA course on venture capital and periodically lectures undergraduates. He has been a member of Young President’s Organization since 1980. Jack completed the Leadership Cincinnati course in 1996 and launched a groundbreaking multi-state youth leadership program that continues in operation today.
In sports, he is an owner of the Cincinnati Reds, and a founder and board member of Dutch Lions, a minor league soccer franchise. Wyant family members have served on U.S. teams in world championships and hold ten national championships including the 2011 national father-son doubles title. Jack was a captain of the 2012 and 2015 American teams in the Lapham Grant, a 92 year continuously played annual competition with Canada. The Wyant Family Foundation supports the urban squash and education movement nationally, sponsored, built, and opened in 2014 Cincinnati Squash Academy, a youth education center with three squash courts, classrooms, and a fully staffed program in Cincinnati.
Jack’s wife, Peg, married for 42 years, broke the glass ceiling for women as a P&G marketing executive for 20 years. Subsequently, she founded and built Isabella Capital, a VC firm that invested in and backed women led companies. In 1988, they founded and Peg has served as CEO of Grandin Properties, a family owned real estate firm that redevelops and manages historic commercial and residential buildings. Its current focus is 100+ year old properties located in the Over-the-Rhine section of downtown Cincinnati. Peg is a graduate of Smith College. The Wyants reside in Cincinnati, Ohio and Sea Island, Georgia. Their four children, ages 41-32, are in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Their professional activities include a college squash coach, an education nonprofit CEO, a healthcare nonprofit COO, and a senior real estate executive.
- Board Member, Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc.
- Board Member, CBank
- Bachelor of Arts, Denison University (1968)
- Juris Doctor, Salomon P. Chase College of Law (1977)