Honored as 2005 St. Louis Business Journal 40 Under 40, awarded to young professionals making a difference in their organizations and communities.

Personal Interests: family, travel, reading, CrossFit, skateboarding, kiteboarding

Avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Michigan State Spartans and Washington University Bears

Jay is a "same side of the table" VC. He joined InterVene's board in 2015, and I've thought of him as a partner ever since. When times are tough, he is collaborative in his support, always thinking about how WE—as a team—can increase the chances of success for everyone —from the patient to the employees to the investors. For me personally, Jay is a triple threat: a partner, a mentor and a friend. I always think of Jay and his savvy and supportive team at RiverVest whenever someone is raising money and looking for a new investor.


Jay W.



After almost two decades since founding RiverVest, I am tremendously proud of the team we have assembled and what we have accomplished together for our investors. The firm’s success in founding and funding life science companies, enabling entrepreneurs to develop products and introduce them to the marketplace, is very rewarding. Witnessing the impact of these technologies in improving the lives of thousands of people is inspiring and energizing.

Jay co-founded RiverVest in 2000. He currently leads the daily operations of the firm, as well as its strategic and fundraising initiatives. Jay’s investment focus is the medical device sector. Drawing on his combination of operating, investment banking and venture capital experience, Jay works closely with entrepreneurs as a sounding board and mentor.

Jay is a director of InterVene, Inc., Cardialen, Inc., and a board observer at Standard Bariatrics, Inc. He is a former director of Velocimed, LLC, which was acquired by St. Jude Medical, Inc., Lutonix, Inc., acquired by C.R. Bard, Inc., IDEV Technologies, Inc., acquired by Abbott Laboratories, Inc., and Accumetrics, Inc., acquired by Instrumentation Laboratory (a Werfen Company), and former chairman of Salient Surgical, Inc., which was acquired by Medtronic, Inc.

Previously, Jay was with Crescendo Ventures, where he led investments for the firm’s life science division. While at Crescendo, Jay founded Salient Surgical Technologies, Inc. Prior to his transition to venture capital, Jay worked as a medical device research analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., where he focused on cardiovascular-related medical device stocks. He was also a marketing executive for Medtronic, Inc., where he was responsible for two successful product launches and the marketing activities of two of Medtronic’s U.S. cardiac surgery-related businesses.

Jay earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.A. in Accounting from Michigan State University.


Committed to Doing Business the Right Way to Deliver the Best Outcomes for Patients, Entrepreneurs, and Investors



St. Louis, San Diego & Cleveland


A Strong
Built to Last

Jay W. Schmelter

/ Co-Founder & Managing Director

John McKearn

/ Managing Director

Niall O'Donnell

/ Managing Director

Tom Melzer

/ Co-Founder and Managing Director

Nancy Hong

/ Managing Director

Derek Rapp

/ Managing Director

Karen Spilizewski

/ Vice President

Sivan Weitzman

/ Chief Financial Officer

Kelly Cathey

/ Co-Founder & Managing Director

Isaac Zike

/ Principal

Pascal Krotee

/ Senior Associate

Michael Berman

/ Consultant and Venture Partner

Curtis Rother

/ Director of Finance

Courtney Harris

/ Controller

Andrew Kleiboeker

/ Analyst

Jeff Seitz

/ Analyst

Poppy Keller

/ Consultant

Corrin Short

/ Executive Assistant



Ronald T. Borchardt, Ph.D.

/ Distinguished Professor Emeritus, The University of Kansas-Lawrence

John DePersio

/ Chief, Division of Oncology and Deputy Director, Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine

Christoph Rader

/ Professor, UF Scripps Biomedical Research

Jared Rutter

/ Professor of Biochemistry and HHMI Investigator, University of Utah

Alessandro Sette

/ Professor and Member LaJolla Institute for Immunology, Division of Vaccine Discovery Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research

Peter Tontonoz

/ Francis and Albert Piansky Professor of Pathology, Professor of Biological Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles




Collaborative Approach and Open Communication

An exceptional firm culture where each is expected to be transparent, strategic, dependable, results-driven, collaborative, and grounded in purpose. That’s RiverVest.