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March 28, 2024 | Tom Ballard

VC News | What happens when a commitment is not met?

This is our newest wrap-up of venture and angel news from around the country.

From Denver, CO:

KUSA-TV in Denver reports that the City and County of Denver’s multimillion-dollar project to boost small women and minority-owned businesses has collapsed, and the people running the project are suing the city for what they’re calling “abandonment of minority and women-owned businesses through brazen acts of willful misconduct.”

The Domestic Emerging Market Investments (DEMI) Fund was Denver’s partner in the project, which was intended to distribute money from Denver’s cannabis sales tax to support these small businesses. Now, Managing Director and Founder Danielle Shoots says Denver isn’t providing the funding promised and is hurting the minority businesses it set out to help.

In a resolution passed by Denver City Council in October 2022, the city dedicated just over $15 million of its Malone Fund to the partnership with DEMI, formerly known as the New Community Transformation Fund. The city’s only paid DEMI $6.9 million of what was promised, the lawsuit says, and has since stopped paying them entirely. Shoots told 9NEWS the last payment from the city was in November 2023. That’s when the city told her there was only a few thousand dollars left in the fund.

From the Pacific Northwest:

GeekWire reports that a new venture firm based in the Seattle region wants to support early stage tech start-up founders that may be overlooked by other investors.

Isaac Kato, a longtime entrepreneur and investor who previously led the Techstars Seattle accelerator, is the Founder and General Partner at Two Ravens, which came out of stealth mode recently. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in December, the firm indicated it was raising a $20 million fund.

From New York City:

B Capital, a global multi-stage investment firm, has announced the close of B Capital Opportunities Fund II L.P. with aggregate capital commitments of $750 million, nearly doubling the size of its predecessor B Capital Opportunities Fund I.

The new fund received strong participation from both existing and new investors and represents a diverse global base of well-known private and public pensions, family offices, high-net worth individuals, and sovereign wealth funds.

Opportunities Fund II will make primary and secondary investments in later stage companies across B Capital’s core sectors of technology, healthcare and climate tech, with a focus on North America and Asia. The majority of the Fund will seek to identify follow-on investment opportunities in existing, high-performing B Capital portfolio companies. A portion of the Fund will also invest in new investment opportunities, where the firm’s value-added capabilities, including its strategic partnership with the Boston Consulting Group, can have an immediate impact on the companies’ next phase of growth.

From the State of Utah:

Ollin Ventures, a firm based in Lindon, UT, with an emphasis on investing in technology start-ups from Utah County, has announced a new $20 million fund. The plan is to invest between $250,000 and $750,000 into 50 Utah County start-ups.

According to the announcement, Ollin primarily focuses on pre-seed and seed stage technology companies with a partially industry-agnostic approach to sourcing their deals. Tom Wilkinson, Founder and Managing Partner, said, “We focus on enterprise IT, but ultimately we’re searching for companies where we feel a product or a service will have a massive impact.”

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