The Midwest Fund is launched, bringing the Fund’s progressive funding technique to a fifth market
A new mutual fund is coming to Midwestern cities and will be run by names familiar to the local scenes. The aptly named Midwest Fund caters to early-stage startups from Pittsburgh to Chicago, Detroit to Cincinnati, and everywhere in between. Unlike traditional venture capital funds, this one is funded by successful entrepreneurs looking for ways to reinvest in their regions.
The Midwest Fund was born out of The Fund, a NYC-based venture capital group. Founded in 2018 by an all-star cast of Jenny Fielding, Scott Hartley, Katie Hunt, Adam Carver and Matthew Brimer, the fund has since expanded to include microfunds in Los Angeles, London and the Boulder / Denver area. And with each expansion, local founders and investors are tapped to run each region.
The founding shareholders of the Midwest Fund are names familiar to the Midwest. These include Ted Serbinski and Tops Kataria from Detroit, Chris Bergman from Cincinnati, Lynsie Campbell from Pittsburgh and Jennifer Fried from Chicago. With this diverse team, the Midwest Fund is following the example of the fund for equal representation of the sexes on investment committees.
“The fund has always sought to ensure gender equality on the investment committee,” said Ted Serbinski, GP with the Midwest Fund, “and believed that this composition, not an explicit mandate, would result in a more balanced investment. Three Years In and in the other regions, the fund has invested in over 40% female founders. We believe this will also be the case in the Midwest and we look forward to driving this mission forward. “
The Midwest has long been a foundry of big-name industries and startups, and more are popping up every day. Almost eight years ago, Serbinki, then a partner at Detroit Venture Partners, mapped this area and called it a diamond with key cities at each point. Now at The Midwest Fund, he’s part of a team ready to start writing checks at the seed stage to young businesses.
Serbinski informs TechCrunch that this fund is unique in its field because of its speed. He explains that the fund plans to invest in two Midwestern companies every month for two years, which he believes would make it the most active in the region.
The Midwest Fund’s limited partners are from the regions in which the fund operates, including Amanda Lannert of Chicago, CEO of Jellyvision; Patrick Colletti of Pittsburgh, founder of Net Health; and Charlie Key of Cincinnati, founder of Losant. Notable LPs from Zillow, ClassPass, Soundcloud, Casper, Quartz and InVision are sourced across all six funds operated by The Fund.