If you queried “Minnesota Venture Capital” in google, the first SERP result would appear as such:
Without hesitation, you proceed to click on the hyperlink and enter a website with the phrase “Minnesota Venture Capital Association” across the header followed by the acronym “MVCA”.
Scanning the homepage, you quickly fixate on the “about” blurb followed by 4 short paragraphs:
“The Minnesota Venture Capital Association is a not-for-profit group comprising members whose primary activity is the management of venture capital funds and investments.
The MVCA was founded to promote collegiality and information-sharing among Minnesota venture capitalists. The MVCA also endeavors to promote Minnesota venture capital activity generally through its co-sponsorship (with The Collaborative) of the May Entrepreneur/Investor Luncheon and the October Venture Finance Conference.
The Association meets every month to hear presentations from leading business people and policymakers on issues of interest to the Minnesota venture capital industry. The MVCA also sponsors “deal lunches” intended to foster informal discussions regarding local start-up companies.
For more information, please contact 2008 President Paul Bieganski at 952-984-3717 Paul.Bieganski@black-river.com”
At this point your mind is likely under the assumption that there actually is an outfit known as the “Minnesota Venture Capital Association” or “MVCA”. However, digging deeper, you begin to notice some anomalies:
1) the acronym “MVCA” doesn’t match the website url “www.mnvca.org”
2) the calendar link shows the most recent event listed as December 11th, 2008. 11 of the 12 months in 2008 do not have any supporting details while the month of January states “no meeting”
3) the President listed is for the year 2008
4) The annual venture conference notes are from 2007
5) Multiple 404’s
6) The data stops at 2005
7) The contact email address provided is returned to sender.
Therefor, the only logical conclusion is that for all practical purposes, the answer is: NO, Minnesota does not have a venture capital association.
The real question then becomes: is this fake-out is a microcosm of some deeper issues facing local entrepreneurs and investors alike?
Perhaps it’s time for a REAL Minnesota Venture Capital Association.
“Nationally, venture investing rose to about $3.7 billion in the second quarter, up from just $1.6 billion in the same period a year ago. Minnesota took home 2.64 percent of that total; the state’s take has only topped 2.6 percent four other times since 1995.”
*View the 09Q2 Money Tree Report here. Minnesota is under the umbrella of the “North Central Region”. We’ll be digging around for more local data/stats/research. On that note, we gladly welcome any relevant data and/or anonymous tips that can in some way, shape, or form, be of benefit to the local VC/tech space.
Update II: Here’s the MN specific data
Update III: We hear that JC Gureghian from StartupShoppe.com is in the process of working with the new Minnesota Venture Capital Association President Jeff Hinck (Jeff@eldorado.com) in updating and re-designing the website. We hope that Jeff can deliver a new level of leadership aimed to benefit everyone involved!