BROOKINGS – Homegrown Capital, a South Dakota-based venture capital company, recently announced the launch of its first venture capital fund, Homegrown Capital Fund I, LLC, at a capitalization of over $17 million.
After recognizing the growing need for follow-on funding in South Dakota and surrounding states, Matt Paulson, MarketBeat founder and CEO, and Tim Weelborg, former executive director of the Enterprise Institute, joined forces to establish the new venture capital firm. Within several months, the pair raised $17.2 million to launch Homegrown’s initial fund from individual and institutional investors, including 50 South Capital, the Dakota State University (DSU) Foundation, and several local banks.
“The DSU Foundation is proud to invest in this initiative,” said Jon Schemmel, president and CEO of the DSU Foundation. “We believe our investment into the Homegrown Capital Fund aligns with the vision for Dakota State University and that it will increase opportunities for DSU graduates to have more career opportunities in the world of cyber and technology in the state of South Dakota and surrounding areas.”
While Homegrown is an all-new venture capital firm focused on early-stage, technology-driven companies in the Northern Plains, both general partners bring a long track record of angel investment, entrepreneurial and community-building experience. Most relevant to their newest endeavor, Weelborg has facilitated over 100 angel deals and established 14 angel funds across South Dakota, and Paulson has invested in over 75 startups in addition to raising and deploying over $5 million during his time as chairman of the Falls Angel Fund.
“Raising $17 million over several months is a major accomplishment, but it is the starting line for our fledgling venture capital firm,” Paulson said. “We now have the much harder task of deploying that capital into startup technology companies in the region and creating a positive return for our investors. It’s an exciting opportunity to prove ourselves.”
With an acute awareness of the region’s startup ecosystem and the diverse network of businesses it currently serves, Paulson and Weelborg have clearly defined the criteria for the high-growth startups that fit the fund’s scope of investment.
• Stage focus: Homegrown leads or co-leads a seed or series A round with an investment of $500,000 to $1.5 million.
• Industry focus: Homegrown is specifically interested in high tech companies in most B2B Software, Agricultural Technology (AgTech), and Financial Technology (FinTech) companies that demonstrate robust scalability.
• Geographic focus: Homegrown focuses on empowering companies in South Dakota, North Dakota and contiguous states in the Northern Plains Region.
Companies that meet Homegrown’s criteria can apply for funding at www.homegrown.capital.com
Homegrown Capital is a South Dakota-based venture capital company that invests in early-stage, technology-driven companies in the Northern Plains. Founded by Matt Paulson and Tim Weelborg to empower companies close to home, the company operates out of offices in Brookings, Sioux Falls and Fargo, North Dakota.
For more information or to apply for funding, visit homegrown.capital.com.