New Seed Fund Seeks to Bring More Benefits to Startups
The co-founder of a new Indianapolis-based seed fund says he hopes the way the fund operates becomes a model in the startup world. Round One Capital was launched this week by four veteran entrepreneurs and angel investors to support emerging startups in a variety of sectors, with a special focus on technology. Jay Love, the former chief executive officer of eTapestry and Bloomerang in Indianapolis, says Round One Capital aims to provide support to as many startups as possible, even those that aren’t selected for funding.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Love said they have developed a scorecard to help in the process of determining who receives funding.
“We’ve worked very diligently over the last several months to create a 100-point scale that lets us know how ready somebody is for success and how ready are they to make use of the funds from an investment,” said Love. “One of the things that we’re going to do differently here is not only use the scorecard for ourselves, but we’re going to share it with the majority of our applicants so that they can see, if we did not invest, exactly why we did not and how they could go back and maybe remedy some things and come back to the table down the road.”
Love says providing comprehensive feedback to applicants who don’t receive funding is not a common practice in the venture capital world.
“I look back at the four or five times in my life that I’ve been actively engaged in raising funds to start a business for myself or a business that I was associated with and time and time again, we would go through all the steps with somebody, go all the way up until a deadline and then they would say, ‘No’ and I would ask them why and you really wouldn’t get a complete or detailed answer that could be used to help make you better going forward.”
Love says he hopes providing that feedback will become more commonplace.
Round One Capital was also co-founded by Gary Rush, the former chief technology officer at ExactTarget and Angie’s List; Todd Katz, the former CEO of Bell-Horn; and Scott Brenton, the former chief operating officer at Angie’s List and president and chairman of the Orr Fellowship.
Love says while tech startups will be the fund’s main focus, Round One Capital also aims to support startups in healthcare, life sciences, and manufacturing, among other sectors.
“We purposely put our group of partners together with expertise in each of those sectors as well as expertise in each area of the C-suite,” he said. “So we’ve got CEO experience, COO experience, chief technical officer experience, chief marketing officer experience; we brought all those together in one place for people to have access to.”
Round One Capital says it expects to make 30 or more investments over the coming years.
Love says they have developed a scorecard to help in the process of determining who receives funding.