The Proven Ventures fund has already closed on its first investment, a new Nebraska technology startup.
Burlington Capital, an alternative investment management firm founded in 1984 by Omahan Mike Yanney, has a long history investing in regional businesses to help them grow. But the Proven Ventures fund is the firm’s first venture capital fund.
Burlington Capital CEO Lisa Roskens said Proven Ventures’ vision of a fund focusing on minorities fit with her companies’ values.
“It’s a great sweet spot to be helping develop,” she said.
Another unique focus of the new fund will be working closely with the leadership of the companies it invests in to increase sales, revenue and profitability. Assistance provided could include marketing strategy, messaging, identifying new leads or making outbound sales calls.
“Our partners don’t want to just sit on the sidelines and say, ‘Here are some bucks,’ ” Preheim said. “We will get behind them in every way.”
It’s hoped such assistance can get the firms off on more solid footing, accelerate the return for investors and make for more predictable returns — something not always found in boom-and-bust venture investing.
“There’s an abundance of great companies and investors here,” Wassinger said. “Bringing them around one round table is our goal.”