The Uncovered Podcast

Phil Bronner of Ardent Venture Partners: Longtime venture capitalist to first-time VC founder

April 05, 2022 PJC Season 3 Episode 8
The Uncovered Podcast
Phil Bronner of Ardent Venture Partners: Longtime venture capitalist to first-time VC founder
Show Notes

Episode Summary:
Phil Bronner is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of D.C. based Ardent Venture Partners, which was co- founded in 2020 with fellow veteran investor Phil Herget.  Phil has had an impressive 15-year career in venture prior to starting Ardent, leading 16 investments (was actively involved in 20) totaling over $100 million.  He has also been on the entrepreneurial side, founding Quad Learning, a venture-backed startup acquired by Wellspring Higher Education.   In this episode you’ll learn more about Phil’s background and experience working in venture, the challenges and humbling process of starting your own venture fund, and the key strategies and lessons he has learned thus far starting Ardent Ventures.

What is Uncovered: 

  • Phil’s experience in venture and what has surprised him the most starting Ardent Venture Partners 
  • The key strategies to think about when starting your first fund 
  • The importance of team vs finding the next big deal 
  • The changes in venture over the last 10-15 years 
  • The sheer number of accomplished VCs out there looking for funding 
  • The state of valuations today & predictions of what is to come within VC

Learn More About:

Phil Bronner:

Phil Bronner is the co-founder of Ardent Venture Partners, a venture fund investing in companies that transform the way we work. He is currently on the board of Reserve Trust, Verituity, ExecOnline, OneMain Financial (OMF) and an investor in Method Financial and Collective. Before co-founding Ardent Venture Partners, Phil was Founder/Managing Member of Summer League Ventures (SLV). Active SLV deals include Morning consult, ExecOnline, Ordway Labs,,, and AirSide Mobile.

Prior to SLV, Phil was a General Partner with Novak Biddle Venture Partners. Over the course of his 15-year career, he led 16 investments (was actively involved in 20) with investments totaling over $100 million. Three of Phil’s series A investments went on to be worth $880 million or more. Investments include: 2U (TWOU), Infoblox (BLOX), SolidFire (Acquired by NetApp), AddThis (acquired by Oracle), Webs (Acquired by Vistaprint), Approva (Acquired by Infor), LifeShield Security (acquired by DirectTV), ClearStandards (Acquired by SAP), Social Gaming Network, and Logic Library (Acquired by SOA Software). In addition, Phil’s past board observer seats include N.E.W. Customer Service Companies (acquired by Asurion), AnswerLogic, a natural language search engine (acquired by Primus Knowledge Systems), and Spectrum K12 (acquired by Power Schools). Phil was the founder of Quad Learning, a venture-backed startup acquired by Wellspring Higher Education, served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. and worked as a software engineer at IBM.  

Phil earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University; a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Law; and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Phil and Brooke live in Washington DC with their 3 kids: Dylan, Sophia, and Mason.

Connect with Phil on LinkedIn.

Ardent Venture Partners: 

With over 50 years combined of experience Ardent Venture Partners has proven time and again that the right combination of capital and active strategic support during the seed stage can create significant value and outsized returns for both Founders and investors. To learn more visit their website at