We have exciting news! In January this year we announced the launch of Elevate Capital, our preamble and core mission and "Elevate Inclusive Fund" that will invest $3 million over the next five years in underrepresented entrepreneurs targeting concept stage and seed startups that were 100% from women, communities of color and veterans. $1.25 Million was committed from Portland Development Commission, Multnomah County and State Of Oregon. This is one of the first public/private supported funds of its nature in the nation. The range of initial funding is $25-75,000, in those two entrepreneurs in their garage style startups.
Today we are proud to announce the launch of "Elevate Capital Fund" - a $10 Million "all inclusive" fund that will invest initially up to $500,000 in early stage startups. We are so proud to get the support of a large local institutional investor - Meyer Memorial Trust in form of a $2 Million commitment to the Elevate Capital Fund. It was a chance opportunity to present TiE Oregon to the Meyer executive team last year that inspired me pursue the creation of this fund.
It is a real privilege to have Meyer as our lead investor. Combine that with our other investment partners such as Oregon Community Foundation, individual members of TiE Oregon Angels and Willamette Angels (as part of our endorsement by RAIN accelerator as their investment fund in the South Willamette Region of Oregon), we truly have a regional group of investors to help us create an impact on "You the Entrepreneur". It doesn't matter who you are, what race or gender, where you are in our geographical space, if you have an idea that can scale into a business and help create jobs and wealth in your neck of the woods we want to talk to you.
Our investments will be for high growth startups primarily in the pacific northwest region (but we may consider a few outside) including all of Oregon, that are looking for that hard to raise $500,000 - $1000,0000 to get beyond the MVP and to the next level. We will target under represented entrepreneurs and under-served regions but we are open to one and all.
Yes folks, we can lead your series seed/Pre A and also invest in a series A with room for follow-on, if you have a disruptive product and a team that can help scale this business (read previous blog Hello World for types of companies). Not only will we invest this capital, we will help syndicate these deals with investment partners like TiE Angels, Willamette Angels and other local and national funds that have partnered with us in the past or are eager to partner with us. Combine that with our mentors (that list will be out soon) you get "one fund" to join hands with that will serve as a catalyst to get your funding in place quickly, so you can focus on your business vs spending large amounts of time fund raising. We become your mentoring and funding partner.
We are hoping for a first close of this fund in the next couple of months, after which we can start making some initial investments - so be patient with us folks, we are in the same mode as you might be - "raising capital" !!! In the meanwhile, if you are actively raising capital, do take an opportunity to apply on our website elevate.vc so we can contact you when we are ready.
I end this post with a sincere thanks to my team of Eric, Robin and Stephen who have been working hard to support our mission and all of our initial investors, friends and colleagues at TiE Oregon, First Insight and our law firm Ater Wynne. They all have supported us beyond my wildest dreams. I am including a copy of the press release below that is coming out in a few hours but I cannot end without quoting an investor of the fund "Rock this sh*t Nitin! Rock it!". So lets Rock it!
Managing Director, Elevate Capital Fund, firstname.lastname@example.org, @NitinrRai
Copy of the press release:
For Immediate Release
Elevate Capital Fund Earns Institutional Commitment
Portland, OR (June 9, 2016) – Elevate Capital Fund announced that Meyer Memorial Trust, a local foundation and institutional investor, will invest $2 million into Elevate Capital Fund. Elevate Capital Fund is a newly formed $10 million Pacific Northwest-based venture fund that invests in early stage startups that includes under-represented entrepreneurs, including women and people of color, veterans, and entrepreneurs located in under-served regions, such as the Willamette Valley, central and southern Oregon, and southwest Washington.
"Although Meyer Memorial Trust recognizes that first-time funds present higher risk all around, Nitin Rai is the kind of fund manager that we want to invest in and invest with," said Sayer Jones, Meyer's Director of Finance. "The investment will be made through our Invest Oregon platform. We look forward to Elevate Capital Fund joining our portfolio alongside other local investments in firms like Ecotrust Forests and the Women's Venture Capital Fund.”
“Elevate Capital Fund was formed to lead the effort in funding under-represented entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest region. We are very fortunate to have Meyer Memorial Trust as an investment partner. Our partnership will help passionate entrepreneurs who are focused on creating high-growth companies with disruptive products,” said Nitin Rai, Elevate Capital’s Managing Director.
“Elevate Capital Fund provides the financial and mentor capital to build a successful company and spread job growth. Backed with experienced mentors, investors and partners globally, we plan to build the next generation of entrepreneurs and companies across the region,” adds Mr. Rai. “Along with our $3 million, 100% under-represented entrepreneurs-focused Elevate Inclusive Fund that invests in concept and seed stage startups, we now have $13 million in investment capital at our disposal, which we will deploy in these seed and early stage startups.”
Elevate Capital Fund expects to do a first close in the next two months, after which it will start investing up to $500,000 in early A or Series A rounds in 12 to 14 high-growth startups with room for follow-on in the next three to four years. The final close is expected to take 12 months. Other early investors committed to the fund include Oregon Community Foundation and certain individual investors from TiE Oregon Angels and Willamette Angels via endorsement from the RAIN accelerator group in Eugene and Corvallis.
About Meyer Memorial Trust and Invest Oregon Platform: Meyer Memorial Trust was created by the late Fred G. Meyer, founder of a chain of retail stores bearing his name throughout the Pacific Northwest. Established in 1982, Meyer has awarded roughly $700 million in grants and program related investments to organizations, primarily in Oregon.
Meyer launched Invest Oregon in 2014 to focus a portion of its corpus in market-rate opportunities that create social, equitable, environmental and economic benefit across the state.