There’s no disputing the ripple effect that just one new startup company can have on a community, city, or even an entire state.*
And for those seeking of a vote of confidence in the future of Minnesota tech (or some milestones to emulate) — look no further than Alvenda. Digging deeper, hear how Co-founding CEO Wade Gerten played off his Retek roots to identify and build the team behind an ambitious idea that would “make history” in July 2009 by bringing retail to Facebook for the first time.
Tune in for the details around how this startup was coronated the Minnesota Cup Grand Prize Winner in September 2009 and leveraged that momentum to raise $5m series A from Minnesota Venture Capital firm Split Rock Partners just two months later. Fast forward to August 2010 and hear Wade describe how Alvenda would further distinguish itself through another first: enabling air travelers to book flights through Facebook. What’s next?
In retrospect, Alvenda was one of (no more than) five Minnesota tech startups to raise Venture Financing in 2009. It bears asking: not enough available VC funding, not enough fundable startups or a mix of both?
“When we started thinking about doing the A round, just about everyone told us ‘good luck raising that in Minnesota!’ (A) There’s just not that many investors/ there’s not a lot of capital here and (B) the capital that’s available to you on the coasts doesn’t chase companies based in the Midwest.
That’s kind of the nature of the beast…It’s difficult to start a company here and raise money…I think you really have to stand out and be in a hot market.” – Wade Gerten, CEO, Alvenda.
*While one legacy media company languishes in the obvious, we remain focused on Petters Hecker addressing the real environmental circumstances surrounding Minnesota startups and exploring actual strategies which can lead to an increased probability of success.