Business Insider recently released their list of the "39 most important VCs in the Midwest," with one being Baird Capital Venture Partner Joanna Arras. To compile the list, Business Insider asked venture capitalists from across the country about the Midwest investors to know. They also referred to Insider's reporting on the top seed investors to find more power players. 

Arras has spent the past 15 years in a variety of roles at Baird, excluding a two-year stint at Wharton to earn her master's degree in business administration. She joined the firm in 2007 as an equity research analyst specializing in semiconductor companies before becoming an associate in the firm's investment banking and business-development divisions. In 2014, Arras joined Baird Capital, Baird's private-investment arm, where she focuses on early and growth-stage SaaS startups.

Arras shared, "It's challenging to have a completely new or fresh idea, so the founders that get my attention are those with the ability to out-execute the competition. That might be in the form of a better product, a more refined go-to-market strategy, or a stronger team. The most effective leaders are those who intimately understand the market they are selling into — industry knowledge and experience is tough to fake."

The complete list is available here. A subscription may be necessary.