Traction Capital’s team is comprised of Minnesota entrepreneurs with a passion for helping others in their startup journey. We’ve been there ourselves and are committed to providing the Founders we work with the resources and support needed to succeed in today’s highly competitive landscape.
Founder and Managing Partner
Shane Erickson is the Managing Partner of Traction Capital. Passionate about helping Minnesota entrepreneurs, his singular mission is to provide companies with the intellectual, human and financial capital required for successful growth through sale/exit in today’s increasingly complex and competitive marketplace.
He is an active member of Entrepreneur Organization (EO) and leads Minnesota’s EO Accelerator. He was an early adopter of EOS® (Entrepreneurial Operating System) and the co-developer of the Traction Capital Proven Process for the systematic management of businesses to drive sustainable and profitable growth.
Prior to forming Traction Capital, Shane served for nearly 30 years as the Co-Founder and CEO of IMC, a leading provider of marketing services and promotional products to the beverage industry. IMC is a recipient of the Inc. Magazine 5000 and Inc. Magazine 500 awards.
Shane is an experienced investor with notable success as a venture capitalist including investments in Mentormate (20x return, 51% IRR) and Ultralox (29x return, 182% IRR). Both are recipients of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal Fast 50 awards. He’s also invested, mentored, consulted and served on the board of several other businesses including Reside (Magnet 360), Modern Foundation, AutoMotion, and Cedar Valley Exteriors.
Collectively, his experiences as an entrepreneur, investor and advisor have laid a foundation of expertise to provide value for businesses across a variety of stages and industries. Shane earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. Cloud State University’s G.R. Herberger College of Business.
VP of Investments
Investment manager and Founder champion, Peyton is the deal guru for Traction Capital. Entrepreneurship is in his veins, and he loves nothing more than spending time with Founders working to make their vision reality.
Peyton Green is the VP of Investments for Traction Capital. Peyton oversees the entire investment process. In addition, he supports both portfolio company founders and the Traction Capital Partners in long-term strategy, as well as day-to-day tasks.
Peyton has a passion for entrepreneurship that stems from both his experience growing up around the Minnesota entrepreneurs in his family, and his desire to own and run companies of his own in the future. He is particularly drawn to the Minnesota startup scene due to the tremendous opportunity he sees in the region and its underdog status relative to the well-known, well-funded coastal entrepreneurial ecosystems. His favorite aspect of his job is meeting the many talented founders he sees at various events around town.
Away from work, Peyton enjoys mentoring students, golf, travel, the Minnesota culinary scene, and working on various projects that scratch his entrepreneurial itch.
Integrator / Partner
A lifelong entrepreneur, Brian is the Integrator/President of Traction Capital. Whether he’s running his current business or focusing on yours, Brian brings a talent for processes and operations to make even the unmanageable manageable.
A lifelong Minnesota entrepreneur, Brian Cox started selling as a child. He then started, operated, and sold two different lawn and landscape businesses, one in high school and one in college. While completing his Undergraduate degree in Business Management / Entrepreneurship at the University of St Thomas, he started his own business in 2004 which, with the help of the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, has grown to be the largest in its space and local market. He continues to operate it today. Brian went through the EOA (Entrepreneur’s Organization Accelerator) Program in 2008-2010 and was mentored by Shane. After graduating EOA in 2010 he joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization of Minnesota and has been an active member, serving on the board, coaching EOA mentees, and participating in Forum monthly.
Brian joined Traction in March of 2020 and assisted in raising Focus Fund I. He is Process and Operations minded and enjoys helping run the Management Company as well as meeting Founders and learning about their growing businesses. He currently serves as the President / Integrator, working with Shane and the team to ensure the Vision is executed, and to lead, manage and hold the team accountable.
Brian lives in Greenfield, MN with his wife Cassandra, daughter Ava and son Bennett. They enjoy boating, travel, skiing/snowboarding, football and spending time with family.
JO ANN BUCKHOLZ
VP Finance & Operations
A CPA and seasoned CFO, Jo Ann is the VP of Finance & Operations for Traction Capital. With a specialization in M&A’s, she’s an invaluable resource for companies throughout the acquisition and integration process.
As Vice President of Finance & Operations, Jo Ann brings extensive experience building teams, training resources and putting scalable solutions in place for growing organizations.
A certified public accountant, Jo Ann’s expertise stems from more than two decades of accounting and financial management experience working for technology and professional services organizations.
With a particular focus on rapidly growing organizations, Jo Ann’s career has included taking two organizations from startup through merger/acquisition. Jo Ann honed her finance and accounting skills at Ernst & Young as a member of the Audit team before taking on the role of Director of Finance and Administration for a multinational communications software company. For the next several years, she worked as an independent consultant serving small to mid-sized organizations. Recently, Jo Ann has served as the CFO of PowerObjects, leading all back-office components during a decade-plus of rapid growth and ultimately positioning the company for acquisition.
Entrepreneur and Certified Implementer of EOS®, John is the is the Implementor for Traction Capital. Whether talking over beers at his award-winning brewery or participating in his highly regarded implementation sessions, John’s ability to guide Founders in their path to growth is invaluable.
John Klick has 25 years of experience of starting, managing, and owning small businesses. Fifteen of those years were running businesses on the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. His diverse background includes owning companies ranging from promotional products to an award-winning brewery.
John is passionate about helping leaders run their business, drive growth, and live a balanced life. As a Professional EOS® Implementer, he works with leadership teams to help simplify, clarify and achieve their vision. John implements EOS® to companies within the Traction Capital portfolio as well as has his own practice and works with many different companies.
Living the EOS® Life is important to John and his other passions include spending time with his family, skiing and anything to do with a lake.
VP of Acquisitions/Entrepreneur in Residence
A Post-Exit Entrepreneur, Chris Carey is an Entrepreneur in Residence for Traction Capital. As someone who has successfully navigated building and exiting a company, Chris provides invaluable knowledge and hands-on support to Founders traveling that path.
Chris Carey is a Post-Exit Entrepreneur who launched his first venture, Modern Automotive Performance, in 2006 with little more than a dream and a bedroom closet to store inventory. By 2020 the business was generating more than $40M in revenue and employed over 80 people in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. MAP was sold at the end of 2020 to Enthusiast Enterprises where Chris remained involved for 15 months ensuring a successful transition. Chris joined Traction Capital in April of 2022 with aspirations to add value from his entrepreneurial experience and learn more about the industry.
Chris lives in Cottage Grove, MN with his wife Heather and their two daughters, Madison and Payton. He enjoys hockey, golf, travel, and spending time with family and friends at the lake.
A senior at the University of St. Thomas, Ellie Pigott is an aspiring entrepreneur and Intern at Traction Capital working in both marketing and acquisitions.
Ellie Pigott joined Traction Capital as a Marketing Intern in June of 2022. Since coming on board, she has expanded her duties and now contributes to both the deal flow and marketing efforts of Traction Capital. She assists the VP of Investments and VP of Acquisitions with deal sourcing and evaluation and also works with the President to ensure quality marketing output.
Ellie is a rising senior at the University of St.Thomas, majoring in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Sustainability. On campus she is Director of Alumni Engagement for the Undergraduate Business Council, a volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters, and a Creativity and Innovation Center student employee. Active in her University’s pitch competitions and entrepreneurial events, Ellie an aspiring entrepreneur and passionate about our local startup community.
A senior at the University of St. Thomas, Cooper Eral is an aspiring entrepreneur and an Intern at Traction Capital, focusing on acquisitions while assisting on the venture side.
Cooper Eral joined Traction Capital in May 2023 as a Private Equity Analyst Intern. Cooper works directly with the VP of Investments on deal sourcing and evaluation and is particularly excited to develop a network of driven Midwest founders.
Cooper is a senior studying Finance and Data Analytics at the University of St. Thomas. He also holds an executive board position for Delta Sigma Pi – Nu Tau, coaches youth basketball, and is an active volunteer for Junior Achievement. Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Cooper is thrilled to contribute to the booming local startup community.
Advisory Committee members are all investors in the fund and assist the Traction Capital team in deal vetting and analysis.
Co-Founder of UltraLox
Founder & CEO of Yardstick, Co-Founder & CEO of Reside, Magnet360
Co-Founder of Bulkreefsupply.com
CEO at Revel, Founder of Insite Software, Evolution1 (Lighthouse1)
Founder of Timmaron Group
President & CEO of Fun.com
Traction Capital has over 75 investors, most of whom are Minnesota entrepreneurs or business owners themselves. Our Investors often serve as mentors to our portfolio companies, allowing Founders to learn from those who have already succeeded in their industry.
Co-founder of Equals 3, Magnet 360, Minnesota Cup
Director of Customer Success at Tanium
Co-founder of Fun.com
Founder of Equals 3, Magnet 360, Minnesota Cup
CEO & Co-Founder of JustiFi Technologies
President & CEO of Fun.com
Founder of Modern Automotive Performance
MARILYN GORDON WEISS
Founder and CIO of SIVO Insights, Inc.
Professional EOS Implementer
Founder & CEO at Cedar Valley Exteriors
Co-Founder of Salo, LLC
Founder of Best Technology
Co-Founder of Ultralox
Founder & CEO of OperaDDS
Founder at fjorge
Founder and CEO of Kelle Company
Founder and CEO of Digineer
Founder & CEO of Flextech