Groove Capital and the Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory (MESA) group have announced a new partnership that aims to provide a smoother road to capital and mentorship for founders. By leveraging both party’s strengths — Groove Capital’s focus on early-stage investments and viable business vetting and MESA’s zero-equity mentorship — the pair says working together will create a more access to the resources early-stage founders need.

“Having seen so many founders benefit from MESA mentors, we’ve been encouraging portfolio companies to consider their formal mentorship since we first started investing in February, said Reed Robinson, Founding Partner of Groove Capital, said in a release. Now, with many founders and investors organically experiencing the benefits of both groups, we couldn’t be more excited to formalize this partnership.”

Groove Capital and MESA will continue to make independent portfolio decisions, but each organization will maintain a close exchange of candidates who are good fits for capital and mentorship services — MESA will have access to, “supply of high-quality, vetted technology startups to consider for mentoring, a broader mentor pool to support mentee candidates, and education around and a platform for potential angel investing for MESA mentors” and Groove Capital portfolio companies will gain access to MESA mentorship and MESA’s expertise in diligence and pre-investment efforts.

Groove Capital and MESA highlighted TurnSignl as a company that has benefited from both organization’s efforts.

“As an investor, Groove Capital knows that when a founder connects with MESA, they have a safe place to ask questions and learn without fear of sounding like a novice,” TurnSignl CEO Jazz Hampton said in the release. “TurnSignl would not be the company it is without MESA and Groove, and we are thrilled that growing the relationship will be helping even more founders in the future.”

To learn more about the partnership, read the release below.

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Minneapolis, MN – November 22, 2021 – Groove Capital and the MESA group are partnering to create better access to capital and mentorships for Minnesota’s emerging technology startups. Groove Capital is a Minnesota venture capital firm and angel group where entrepreneurs go to get their first institutional investment. The Minnesota Emerging Software Advisory group (MESA) offers pro bono mentoring to MN-based emerging growth software companies, typically for two-to-three years, never takes equity, and has worked with over 65 companies in the last ten years.

While each organization will continue to make its independent portfolio decisions, Groove Capital will provide MESA with a supply of high-quality, vetted technology startups to consider for mentoring, a broader mentor pool to support mentee candidates, and education around and a platform for potential angel investing for MESA mentors. MESA will assist Groove Capital by providing high-quality mentorship to a number of Groove’s portfolio companies and providing access to expertise to help Groove with its diligence and pre-investment efforts.

The partnership between MESA and Groove Capital will drive more dynamic growth in the Minnesota startup community by connecting more founders and their supporters to the resources needed to grow and prosper.

“Having seen so many founders benefit from MESA mentors, we’ve been encouraging portfolio companies to consider their formal mentorship since we first started investing in February, said Reed Robinson, Groove Capital’s Founding Partner. Now, with many founders and investors organically experiencing the benefits of both groups, we couldn’t be more excited to formalize this partnership.”

Two such benefactors of both programs are Tony Sternberg, CEO of ProsperStack, and Jazz Hampton, CEO of TurnSignl. “MESA has a deep network of mentors and a knack for pairing them with founders that can benefit most from their skillsets. Their approach helps startups to realize their full potential, and Groove’s fast-growing portfolio has no shortage of founders that could benefit immensely from this partnership,” said Tony.

Jazz added, “MESA goes the extra mile to ensure the mentees are connected with someone that can help with their specific business, at the specific place of growth. As an investor, Groove Capital knows that when a founder connects with MESA, they have a safe place to ask questions and learn without fear of sounding like a novice. TurnSignl would not be the company it is without MESA and Groove, and we are thrilled that growing the relationship will be helping even more founders in the future,”

Groove Capital

Groove Capital is where Minnesota-based startups go to get their first institutional investment. By combining the power of an active angel network with a traditional venture fund, Groove accelerates the velocity to a startup’s first funding while providing its investors with a platform and process to invest with confidence.

MESA

MESA is a non-profit mentoring organization that has supported the Minnesota software community for over ten years. Currently, it is actively mentoring 21 companies with the help of 30 seasoned C-level executives who have previous startup experience.

Over the years, MESA has helped create significant growth (and jobs!) in the Minnesota software economy. This “giving back,” high-quality mentoring results in 100% of its “mentees,” testifying to the substantial impact MESA mentors make in their growth and success.