Michael W. Ferro Jr. is the Founder and CEO of Merrick Ventures LLC. Merrick Ventures is a private equity firm in Chicago that focuses on a number of different industry sectors, including deep learning and content aggregation, big data, and distribution technologies. Merrick Ventures’ board includes a who’s who in Chicago investors, and the venture capital and private equity firm has been involved with many of the best young tech companies in the Chicago area.
Michael W. Ferro Jr. is probably most famous for starting the company, Click Commerce, when he was 28 years old. Mr. Ferro earned a number of accolades from a variety of tech and business publications, and he took the company public in 2000. He eventually would sell the business software company to Illinois Tool Works, Inc. for nearly $300 million in cash. Click Commerce is currently headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Later, through Merrick Ventures, Michael W. Ferro Jr. invested in Merge Healthcare after he sold Click Commerce. Merge Healthcare is a NASDAQ company that specializes in medical imaging technologies. He served as the Chairman of the company, and he helped turn the organization around, catching the attention of IBM. Michael W. Ferro, himself, helped build up Merge Healthcare’s patent portfolio, which included AI medical imaging technology. IBM was so impressed with this and other technologies that it purchased the company in 2015 for $1 billion.
In addition to Merge Healthcare, Michael W. Ferro Jr. also was the Chairman of Wrapports, LLC from 2011 to 2016. Wrapports, LLC owns many media properties, including the Sun-Times Network, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Reader, Chicago.com, Aggrego, Thecube.com, and Higi LLC. He sold his share in the company in 2016 after making a $44 million investment deal in Tribune Publishing through Merrick Ventures. Mr. Ferro was the largest shareholder in the media giant until he sold his shares in 2018 and retired from the company.
In addition to his many successes as an entrepreneur and investor, Michael W. Ferro Jr. is a well-respected software architect and inventor. He has invented many different proprietary products and processes, which has enabled him to hold multiple patents by the U.S.P.T.O. As mentioned above, Michael W. Ferro Jr. had made innovations in medical imaging technology while at Merge Healthcare and holds a patent on those innovations. Several of his other innovations and developments are still patent-pending.