A new seed fund called Resonant Venture Partners opened its office doors in Ann Arbor, Michigan today.
Founded by Michael Godwin and Jason Townsend (pictured above), Resonant aims to raise $10 million within the next 18 months, and to invest up to $500,000 per seed round in regional firms across a variety of high-tech sectors: IT, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, alternative energy and defense.
Though still in the midst of subscribing, Resonant closed its first deal late last week. It was part of a $1 million investment in Scio Security, a mobile software security startup.
Godwin and Townsend are recent graduates of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. As students there, they managed the $5.5 million Wolverine Venture Fund at The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies growing it from $3.5 million to $5.5 million within two years, with a couple of successful exits.
Jason Townsend says there are no other seed funds in the state of Michigan at this time, and that the 17 venture funds he knows about in the state will be happy Resonant has formed and can help companies get to the stage where they’re ready for a bigger, series B investment.
Another reason it’s a good time to be an investor in Michigan, Townsend explains: “The Midwest garners 45% lower valuations for companies compared to coastal startups and investments. You have a lot of money chasing a few deals out there. And even if the exits are higher on the coast, there’s still a 25% premium.”
The fund is co-located within the offices of EDF Ventures in Ann Arbor.
EDF has cultivated a deep and productive network. They have put their network to work for present portfolio companiesâ€”from helping to build management teams and forge strategic partnerships to providing industry and functional expertise and securing additional funding. Their network allows us to see the most rewarding investment opportunities. EDF partners bring a wealth of direct experience that is essential to guiding young companies through their start-up and high growth phases to become mature, profitable companies.
The Wolverine Venture Fund (WVF) is a multi-million dollar venture capital fund operated directly out of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, enabling entrepreneurs to realize their business dreams. The Fund invests with the active involvement of MBA students, faculty assistance, and an advisory board composed of professional venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. The WVF is the largest, most active University-based venture fund of its type in the country. The Fund’s contributions have been featured in...