Rick DeVos is an entrepreneur, investor and adventurist. Driven by curiosity and a desire to empower and connect others, he is energized by new ideas and building platforms that allow people and organizations to engage and create.
He founded Wakestream Ventures (WV) in order to make early-stage investments in startup companies. Rick currently serves as CEO of the fund that has made 77 investments to date.
WV was originally part of an entity called Start Garden (SG) that sought to grow the startup economy in West Michigan. Today, SG continues that work but as a nonprofit organization with the DeVos family as one of its largest financial supporters. SG provides “ground floor” funding for people with ideas through various competitions while seeking to foster a connected startup community.
Rick created ArtPrize in 2009, a social experiment designed to see if artists and the public could engage each other in a new way. The scale and energy of the event created global recognition and launched it into debates all over the art world and beyond, empowering the masses to have a perspective and a vehicle for expressing their thinking.
In addition, Rick is engaged in his family’s leadership of several DeVos family-led ventures, including Wakestream Holdings, Windquest Group, and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. He and his wife, Melissa DeVos, also operate their own foundation.
Rick is a competitive sailor, licensed fixed-wing and helicopter pilot and frequent commentator on Twitter (@RickDeVos).