Project Skyway becomes Skyway Fund, starts angel investing


SkywayFundAfter a year of radio silence, Minnesota’s first (and only) startup accelerator, Project Skyway, has resurfaced as Skyway Fund.

Financed by Cem Erdem and driven by Casey Allen, Skyway Fund will serve as a source of early stage investment capital for local tech entrepreneurs, putting $25k – $75k  in 4-8 Minnesota B2B software startups per year.

“We feel that we can make a larger impact on the ecosystem by being an angel fund instead of an accelerator. Project Skyway as an accelerator was a great rallying point for the community, but where we see the greater need now is for those larger early-stage investments into software,” Allen says.

Rather than provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the mentorship, development resources and seed capital that Project Skyways was known for, the Skyway Fund is exclusively for post-revenue startups.  “We will lead, co-invest and follow-on as it makes sense to,” he explains, adding that  “We also have the ability to pull in other local angels who may be interested in what we’re backing.”

KC Associates

Skyway Fund already has four angel investment deals under its belt this year: MobileRealtyApps, Otterology, Storyworks on Demand and Minutebids.

“Our goal is to ultimately have 50 Minnesota tech companies in the portfolio,” Erdem says, counting four of their initial ten accelerator investments — CribFrog, Naiku, QuadRIO, YumZing — as currently active.

“We are doing what is needed to increase the activity here while being smarter about using our resources. Given the investments we have made of the recent months, the results are positive,” expressed Erdem.

“We’re excited about the potential impact…there are far more fundable companies here in Minnesota than most people would believe,” Allen exclaims.


  • Casey Allen

    This is the year!

    Icon. Brightstone. Arthur. All with fresh powder. We’re excited to play our small role with Skyway Fund in getting promising software startups to where they need to go (which is real traction and actual usage and actual revenue, in case you read too much Techcrunch =)

    We’re grateful to be part of a community that is coming together in smart ways. Very grateful. And very, very excited.

    • Whit

      a HUGE congrats to you, Casey. We’ll be cheering you and Cem on from Menlo Park. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

    • Jeff Pesek

      Brightstone is…questionable; and there’s at least 2-3 other early stage funds coming out this year we’ll be hearing about.