Score one for Minnesota. Greg Beaufait, Parter at Dundee Venture Capital, was recently included on “The TechCrunch List,” a directory of the, “most active and engage investors in the VC industry today as recommended by founders.” Beaufait, nested in the “Pre-Seed/Seed” round type and “Digital Biotech Robotics” vertical, is the only individual from Minnesota on the list.
Dundee Venture Capital was formally started in 2010 by Mark Hasebroock, the firm’s founding and managing partner, after he raised money for two eCommerce startups — giftcertificates.com and Hayneedle — in the late 90s and early 2000s. The firm focuses on U.S. technology startups outside of the coasts and, according to its website, has made more than 50 investments and $70 million across three funds since its inception. Beaufait joined the firm in 2013 and leads the Minneapolis office (the firm also has offices in Omaha and Chicago).
The TechCrunch List, put together by — you guessed it — TechCrunch, is described in a FAQ as a, “verified, curated list of investors who have demonstrated a recent commitment to first checks and leading rounds from seed through growth, organized by market vertical.” Listees are chosen by the site’s editorial staff based on recommendations by founders, input from a, “confidential network of sources,” and public data. The qualifications for making the list include:
- Ability to write independent checks
- More than two years of writing those checks
- At least more than two deals in a specific vertical, with preference given to deals less than 36 months old
We connected with Beaufait via email and sent over a few questions regarding his inclusion on The TechCrunch List, heading up Dundee Venture Capital’s Minneapolis office, and how his card shark skills have helped his VC endeavors.
tech.mn: What does it mean to you to be included on the list? Especially since your inclusion was in part somewhat to the recommendation and praise of fellow founders?
Greg Beaufait: It is an honor to be included alongside so many great early-stage investors, and it is a testament to the founders that our team is lucky enough to work alongside on a daily basis. We go only as far as the entrepreneurs we work with do.
I recognize that being on a list of the most active and engaged investors in VC means we are fulfilling our mission at Dundee to be an early-stage partner that provides more than just capital to the best tech entrepreneurs in the Mighty Middle, and I’m proud of that.
“The best part is that I am confident we are just getting started.” — Greg Beaufait on the vibrancy of the Minnesota technology ecosystem.
tech.mn: How have your skills as a poker player impacted your ability to sniff good deals and close when the time is right?
GB: I’ve spent way too much time thinking about this.. time that I have back thanks to no longer playing any online poker :).
The biggest benefit has been a natural embrace of risk-taking, and a focus on making the right decisions over the right outcomes, given the sheer amount of luck involved in a card game and in VC.
Even though I didn’t know that it even existed, I internalized the power law that exists in venture, where the magnitude of success of the “winners” is the core driver of the performance of a group of early-stage investments, as the same is true for results in poker tournaments.
tech.mn: What have been the highlights of heading up the Minneapolis office since you moved here?
GB: I have loved every minute of being in the Twin Cities the last four years, both personally and professionally. The startup scene has blown away my expectations; there are many more awesome entrepreneurs and large tech companies than I anticipated when moving here. Investors have clearly recognized that, with so many great early-stage venture funds starting and growing here in the last five years, plus coastal VCs paying serious attention and writing checks here. The best part is that I am confident we are just getting started.
Personally, I love that we are in a vibrant metro with all of the draws of being in a massive population center, yet it is a city that remains welcoming and tight-knit enough to make you feel like you have a responsibility and a role to play in improving our community and the Twin Cities.