Forj, a leading virtual events and member experience platform for associations and professional community organizations, announced today that it has received a new round of financing led by Baird Capital, with participation from GCI. The new capital will enable Milwaukee-headquartered Forj to accelerate its growth and investment in developing its innovative platform purpose-built for professional associations and member groups to enable a more fulfilling member experience.
Associations historically have over-relied on annual conferences to connect with their members. Forj is disrupting this paradigm, helping clients adopt a new digital-first approach in meeting the expectations of new and existing members. Forj recently released a buyer’s guide to help association leaders understand the future of member experience and identify the right tools to take their virtual events and member experience from transactional to transformational.
“We are excited to continue our fast-paced journey to take Forj from a virtual events provider to our future enabling our clients to deliver an always-on, personalized member experience through AI and data-driven community engagement. We have amazing clients and we’re committed to supporting their missions and the millions of lives they impact each day,” said Kurt Heikkinen, CEO of Forj.
“We’re extremely pleased to partner with Kurt and the Forj team as they seek to transform the online member experience for professional associations and other member-based organizations,” said Jim Pavlik, Partner with Baird Capital and newly appointed Forj board member. “We believe there is a tremendous opportunity for Forj to deliver innovative, digital solutions to help organizations expand the reach and engagement of their member communities, and Baird Capital looks forward to supporting the company in this mission.”
Pavlik joins Bill Schleicher, president & COO of GCI on Forj’s board of directors. Schleicher said, “As an early investor in Forj, we have been impressed with their success in such a short period of time. We are excited to continue our support and are eager to see how the company evolves to bring its vision to life.”
Forj is the leading virtual events and member experience platform for professional associations and membership groups. The company’s platform, data intelligence, and client success team enable community success by attracting more members and sponsors and deepening their commitment. Forj connects communities for the common good. Every voice is heard, everyone learns, bonds are strengthened, and long-lasting relationships are forged. It's where empathy and belonging meets good business sense. For more information, visit www.forj.ai.
About Baird Capital
Baird Capital makes venture capital, growth equity and private equity investments in strategically targeted sectors around the world. Having invested in more than 320 companies over its history, Baird Capital partners with entrepreneurs and, leveraging its executive networks, strives to build exceptional companies. Baird Capital provides operational support to its portfolio companies through teams on the ground in the United States, Europe, and Asia, a proactive portfolio operations team, and a deep network of relationships, which together strive to deliver enhanced shareholder value. Baird Capital is the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co. For more information, please visit BairdCapital.com.
As a family-funded private equity firm founded in 1986 by the late Gary Comer, founder of Lands End Inc., GCI is committed to fostering sustainable, mutually rewarding partnerships with passionate people who lead innovative companies. The company is dedicated to providing patient capital, vital central-office resources, and ongoing strategic business expertise. With this support system, GCI relieves its companies from near-term pressures and gives them the tools to focus on long-term substantive outcomes that impact all stakeholders, including management, their employees, and the community. For more information, visit gcionline.com.