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.”
“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.