‘Fundraising in Minnesota’ MinneBar video

by The TECHdotMN Team


“Raising outside investment capital – whether seed, angel, or venture – can be a necessary ingredient of the startup lifecycle. This session will open with a quantitative look at local investment activity over the past three years, follow with an entrepreneur + investor panel discussion, and conclude with a conversation about best practices. Participants can expect to deepen their understanding of the current market conditions as well as learn how to increase the probability of success when fundraising in Minnesota.”

The Entrepreneurs:

Adam Sellke is an experienced inventor, entrepreneur, and a recovering Marketer turned maker. He has been founder/co-founder of several bootstrapped and venture-backed startups over the last decade (Surtsey, Madoi, Ripshark, Tunebloom, and Echobit). Echobit, a three-year old startup, is the creator of Evolve – a social network and in-game toy chest for gamers that makes playing PC games easier and more fun to play with your friends. Adam and his partners have raised over 750,000 in two Angel rounds and are anticipating a Series A round in the latter half of 2013. When he’s not spinning up new businesses, Adam enjoys spending time with his family, running marathons, and teaching neighborhood kids the programming language Python around his kitchen table on Saturday mornings.

Jim Moar is currently the CEO of OptiMine Software which is a leader in price optimization analytics for use in digital advertising with breakthrough technology in cross-channel optimization.  To date, OptiMine has raised over $7M in two funding rounds.  Previously, Jim has held several CEO and COO positions in technology and industrial companies, both public and private.   He was COO and President of Identix, a global leader in biometric systems, where he led a major turnaround doubling revenue to $90M within his first 3 years. Identix then sold to L-1 Identity Solutions in 2006 for $775 million, more than 8 times forward revenue and 70 times forward EBITDA.  Before Identix, Jim served as COO of Tennant Company, a $425 million industrial company and COO of DataCard, a $350 million technology company, both market-share leaders in their industries. Jim is a founder of the Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA), focused on mentoring CEOs at start-up software companies in Minnesota.

Clay Collins is the Co-Founder of LeadBrite, a Minneapolis based SAAS company that creates lead generation software for small businesses.  LeadBrite was started in June of 2012 and achieved a 7 figure run rate 10 months later.  All of Clay’s companies have been bootstrapped and profitable, and he explores raising capital from time to time, although it’s not contingent upon the success of LeadBrite.


The Investors:


Jeff Hinck is one of the founders and General Partners of Icon Venture Partners, a newly formed fund based in Silicon Valley and Minneapolis.  He has been a venture capitalist since 1997 focusing on enterprise IT investments.  Jeff’s past investments include Algety (acquired by Corvis for $2 billion), Broadsoft (Nasdaq: BSFT), Compellent (acquired by Dell for $960 million), IPCell (acquired by Cisco for $150 million), iTKO (acquired by CA for $330 million), NetCentrex (acquired by Comverse for $165 million), NuSpeed (acquired by Cisco for $465 million) and Sistina (acquired by Redhat for $40 million).  Jeff’s current investments include enStratius, LockPath and TST Media.  Jeff was also CEO of Sistina Software and has twice been the President of the MVCA.  Jeff received his JD from Harvard Law School and his BA from Northwestern University.

Mark Marlow is the President of Omphalos Venture Partners, a $20m local angel fund which has invested in local startups such as Naiku, Workface, and Zipnosis. Prior to Omphalos, he had raised hundred of millions with tech companies Wam!Net and Virtual Radiologic. Mark Marlow holds a B.S.B. and M.B.A.  from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and has held a N.A.S.D. Series 700 General Securities License. He also served as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy and is a graduate of the  Navy Surface Warfare Division Officers School in Newport, RI in 1987.

Tim Huebsch is an emerging angel investor, an active member of the Minnesota tech community and is known as a community dot connector who enjoys helping others create connections. He joined General Mills in 2001 and has served in leadership roles within information technology, digital marketing, supply chain logistics and Global Business Solutions. Tim is a thought leader on technology, digital marketing, corporate governance, innovation, philanthropy, and community involvement. Tim received his MBA from the Carlson School of Management, his BA from Minnesota State University, Mankato and is a recipient of the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” award.