Grand Ventures announces first fund, targets Midwest startups

There’s a new venture fund in Michigan and it aims to have deep pockets. Grand Ventures is the result of longtime Michigan businessman McKeel Hagerty teaming up with Huron River Venture co-founder Tim Streit. The two came together to found Grand Ventures and an SEC filing reveals the venture firm is looking to raise up to $50M for its first fund.

The firm is based out of Grand Rapids, Mich. and are looking to fund early stage technology companies with Midwest ties.

“Over the past five years, high quality accelerator programs and growth-stage investors have proliferated,” said firm principal Maitlan Cramer, “however, there is a pronounced shortage in early-stage funds specializing in $1-3 million seed and Series A financings in the Midwest.”

Cramer points to the Midwest’s traditionally low operation costs as a reason why the area is attractive to small and large companies alike.

“The cost of living and housing in San Francisco are 30% and 300% more expensive than a city like Grand Rapids,” he said. “In our experience, this allows Midwest companies to be 50%+ more capital efficient than those on the coasts.”

The firm is looking at investments across Michigan and other large cities in the Midwest. And they wouldn’t turn down companies from the Valley as long as there are strong roots to the Midwest through the founders or sector focus.

McKeel Hagerty and Tim Streit are the firm’s co-founders and general partners. And both have strong ties to Michigan. Hagerty is the CEO Hagerty Group, a Traverse City, Mich.-based insurance provider for classic cars and boats. Streit co-founded Huron River Ventures, a VC firm based out of Ann Arbor that raised over $16M through several funds and invested in among others, Ambiq Micro, FarmLogs and SightMachine.

Grand Ventures join other the other VC firms located in Grand Rapids area including Hopen Life Science Ventures, Michigan Accelerate Fund 1, and Start Garden.