What is a Huckleberry? Unmask the VC #3: Matt Crowe



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Matt Crowe is an Entrepreneur – first and foremost –  a Venture Capitalist second.  He’s been building businesses since the age of 16 and he reflects regularly at Matt’s blog – business and philosophy. He’s also a columnist for Real Business Magazine, a blogger for the Star Tribune, published Author and host of an online talk radio show called The Matt Crowe Show.
So, what is a Huckleberry already?

“A problem in need of a solution” says Mr. Crowe, Founder and Chairman of Huckleberry Ventures, an emerging Minneapolis, MN Venture Capital firm.

Huckleberry puts an explicit emphasis on building companies through their “holistic” model compared to that of a more traditional Venture Capitalist approach. The difference? Huckleberry integrates their “brand of ideas” into a methodical process of discovering real problems, pooling (multiple) teams/talent and creating a competitive environment centered around guidance and support…all before injecting the capital.  Whereas Entrepreneurs and CEO’s typically pitch investors with their products and plans, Huckleberry aims to (first) go directly to consumers using their own hybrid crowdsourcing technology, ideation engine and diligence tools to uncover what large scale problems markets are facing.  Next, they gather results and push out “Huckleberry’s” to the Entrepreneurial community across the country in the form challenges that will culminate in a Minnesota-based competition known as the “Huckleberry Harvest” featuring a prize in the million-dollar range. What’s more, is that Huckleberry will also function as a fund, exclusively focused on consumer products and services. Their target investment is “Post Angel, Pre-VC”, but they “have the means to last into the VC Stage of single digit millions.”

“We’re trying something different and new with leveraging technology,crowdsourcing and an event..this is like the combination of Virgin, the X-Prize, Y-Combinator, Sequoia, Techstars – all combined into one…” – Matt Crowe

This unique platform will be released early this spring at http://whatsyourhuckleberry.com and consumer-side beta testers can sign up here now :)


  • Jeff Pester

    Interesting concept/love the experimenting, and I wish them all the luck in the world. But some concerns: 1) Not much “consumer” operating experience on their team given that they’re focused solely on consumer products/services. 2) They still haven’t raised their fund. 3) None of the team members have specific experience operating a startup portfolio.

    But like I said, kudos for the novel concept and enthusiasm. Would really like to see them succeed. Best of luck!

    Also, just so we’re clear, the “prize” is an equity investment. Wondering if the terms of the investment are established in advance or are negotiated after the winner is determined?

  • http://www.w3i.com Rob Weber

    Nice write-up Jeff. A very interesting concept indeed.

    I spoken with Michael Noble from Huckleberry a couple of times over the past few months. I am impressed with the quality of thinking they have put into their firm.