Outside In: Q&A with tech investors from outside Minnesota
What is your name, title, firm/fund and Linkedin profile?
What is the firm/fund located and what is the summarized founding history?
We are located in Fargo, ND. Gen7 is in reference to the multi-generations of a family run media business that owns newspapers and digital offerings in the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Gen7 Investments was created to invest in and acquire businesses outside of the traditional media space.
What is the firm/fund size and thesis?
Forum Communications is a business of 1,500 employees; and an investment committee of three corporate leaders make up the management of Gen7 investments. We are looking at new and diverse opportunities beyond our media roots. We are interested in participating in seed and Series A rounds for tech businesses with marketplace and platform emphasis.
How many portfolio technology companies do you currently have?
We are investors in two North Dakota based companies: CoSchedule and Myriad Mobile
Have you experienced any exits?
How much capital do you currently have in the fund?
Capital is being directed as needed; and shared with our acquisition efforts.
How many Minnesota-based portfolio technology companies do you currently have?
Why are you interested in investing in MN-based technology companies?
Absolutely. We operate newspapers in many Minnesota markets including: Duluth, Brainerd, Bemidji, Alexandria, Willmar, Morris, Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids and Red Wing. Each day we tell the story of the incredible talent and entrepreneurs the state has to offer. We want to help build these new generations of business.
What does an ideal Minnesota investment look like to you?
Forum Communications’ internal digital emphasis is around agriculture, real estate and recruitment. Product and services that can enhance these areas would benefit from our customer channels and technology. We are looking to invest in business with strong business leaders and customer traction. New investments will likely to range from $50K- $200K.
How do you prefer entrepreneurs connect with and pitch to you?
Email is best – [email protected]
What else would be valuable to add?
Beyond our investment efforts we are looking toward business acquisitions of small to mid size businesses with three years of growth and 15% margins.