Entrepreneur Scott Burns Becomes Partner with Mairs & Power
Scott Burns began a new chapter of his life Monday, becoming a general partner of Mairs & Power Venture Capital in downtown St. Paul.
Burns is well known in Minnesota’s business community as a founder of GovDelivery and Structural.
Now he’ll use his entrepreneurial success to identify and support early-stage companies and business ventures.
“My ultimate passion lies in empowering entrepreneurs with the resources they need to flourish, including capital, strategic guidance, and unwavering support,” Burns said in a prepared statement. “Having been an entrepreneur myself, I understand the pivotal role early-stage investors play in shaping the trajectory of innovative ventures.”
Burns, who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and environmental studies from Dartmouth, began his career at McKinsey & Co.
As a founder of GovDelivery, Burns recognized a strong market opportunity to build a company that would shift governmental units to the cloud. An investment group led by Vista Equity Partners bought GovDelivery in 2016 for $153 million.
Burns also found success with Structural, a business that provided a platform for employee connectivity and engagement. Structural was sold last October to Augeo, a St. Paul-based enterprise engagement and loyalty company that grew out of the now-defunct Embers restaurant chain.
When Mark Henneman, Mairs & Power chairman and CEO, wanted to start a venture capital fund, he turned to John Bergstrom, a fellow Gustavus Adolphus College alum, to get it off the ground. Bergstrom had decades of experience in the venture capital business.
The venture fund was officially launched in 2022. It was birthed with $20 million in funds, about half of which came from Mairs & Power shareholders, Henneman said. The other half came from the firm’s clients and associates of Bergstrom.
The fund is particularly interested in Upper Midwest venture-stage companies, especially those in the software, business services, healthcare, fintech, edtech, and other high growth sectors.
Henneman expressed excitement over the pairing of Bergstrom and Burns, veterans in the entrepreneurial and venture-funding space. “The combination of John’s career of investing in, consulting with, and providing board governance to venture-stage companies and Scott’s experience starting, growing, and exiting private companies makes this a formidable venture capital team,” Henneman said in a written statement.
Bergstrom and Burns, both St. Paul residents, have known each other for many years. Bergstrom was an investor in GovDelivery and the duo collaborated on several ventures.
“[Scott’s] expertise as an entrepreneur and investor aligns seamlessly with our strategic vision,” Bergstrom said in a written statement. “His history of successfully building his own companies and moving them through the venture stages makes him an instrumental addition for us.”