New investors want to AMP up seed funding in Minnesota


Four business partners in Wayzata have recently formed AMP Partners to make early stage tech investments in Minnesota startups.

Daren Marhula, Brad England, Mark Donahoe and Chris Palm are pooling an undisclosed amount of their own money “made between investment banking, Wall Street and property management,” Marhula says.   Between Macalester, St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota, all four have roots in Minnesota.

AMP doesn’t have much tech investing experience but their appetite for opportunity in local early stage ventures is real he affirms.  “We’ve been low profile until now.”

“We’re interested in the right entrepreneur with the right plan more than the exact market.  We’re not exclusively focused on any one type of business, but definitely interested in local technology startups.” The group has already made one local investment, HomeVisor, although they’ve yet to make any true tech investments yet. Marhula outlined some basic parameters of the AMP approach:

  • Minnesota based
  •  +/- $100k seed stage funding
  • First round/ pre-revenue
  • Will lead a round
  • Will co-invest
  • seeking 1 tech investment/quarter

“I wouldn’t say that we’re an incubator, but we’re definitely interested in being more hands on that just writing a check.  I think that we can bring a lot of additional value to the table. No idea is too crazy. If you’re early and disruptive, send us a note, let’s chat. “


  • Jason

    I would like to know how to get in contact with AMP Partners. We have a Minnetonka based company Tonka Live Magazine ( that we have just started looking at  investments firms for first round funding. Please contact us at

    • Casey Allen


      Just in an effort to help, try looking at it from AMP’s perspective for a moment.

      Since this post they’ve probably been flooded with requests from startups that:

      1. Fit their criteria closer than you do
      2. Have actually shown pro-activeness by reaching out to them directly vs. posting a comment looking for the easy way in
      3. And have probably found a way to meet them without having to go through their website form – the most crowded and low-hustle channel imaginable in the eyes of an investor.

      My advice? See what other hints their site gives and see what avenues their PM site opens and attack directly in a way that 127 other startups won’t this month. That way you’re not buried in the clutter.

      I hope you get the funding you’re looking for!