Early-stage enterprise technology investment firm Icon Venture Partners has officially reached the close of a $100 million inaugural fund, Icon Venture Partners I.
General partners Jeff Hinck (Minnetonka, MN) and Charles Beeler (Menlo Park, CA) have been together in venture capital since 1997, initially operating under Vesbridge Partners, followed by El Dorado Ventures.
“We’ll invest in anything B2B and key segments that we’re spending time with include: big data, cloud technologies, infrastructure software, mobility, SaaS, security and storage,” says Hinck, describing Icon’s investment strategy.
“Companies that will exploit these trends over the next ten plus years and there’s a healthy pocket of them here in Minnesota. Yes — it’s still 80% jockey, 20% horse for us.”
Of the five investments Icon has already made (Appboy, Bugcrowd, 9Lenses, Sport Ngin, Swiftstack) — Sport Ngin is the only Minnesota deal to date. Compellent and Entratius are two previous local exits they’ve shared in, and Phil Soran has notably invested in Icon.
“We envision around 20 earlier stage/series A investments, $100k – $4m each, and 20%+/- could come from Minnesota,” Hinck adds. Despite their geographically agnostic approach, it’s clear that Hinck is hoping to see more best in class opportunities come from his own backyard.
In addition to the institutional investors in the Icon fund (including Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota), Icon brought together a group of over 80 enterprise technology professionals who each invested in the fund and form the Icon Technology Partners group. This group includes senior execs, accomplished entrepreneurs and recognized technology experts to help identify and evaluate investment opportunities and work with the Icon team to aid and assist portfolio companies.
“We have always believed a hands-on approach is key to successful early-stage investing. With the Icon Technology Partners we’ve put together an incredible group of industry experts who help ensure we truly add value to our portfolio companies” said Hinck.
“We consider these individuals to be some of the icons of the technology industry and are excited to work with them as we invest in the next generation of industry icons.”