New Ann Arbor Firm, Resonant Venture Partners, Hopes to Team Up with Coastal VCs on Michigan Investments

8/25/10

Michael Godwin and Jason Townsend know what they’re getting into, launching a new seed-stage venture capital fund, Resonant Venture Partners, in Michigan during a time when getting institutional investors to climb onboard is next to impossible.

“Yeah, it’s bleak in Michigan,” Godwin says, referring to the lack of institutional investor enthusiasm for venture funds in this state, “and quite honestly that’s been a problem for Michigan venture capital since day one. We’ve heard horror stories from our advisers and from other VCs in the area who today still haven’t been able to raise institutional money despite being into their third and fourth funds.”

But they hope that their newly minted VC firm, based in Ann Arbor, MI, will act as a kind of advance scout for larger venture capitalists on the coasts.

Godwin says that he and his partner, both of whom spent time as Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs before heading back to Michigan to get their MBAs, hear VCs in Silicon Valley and Boston lament that it is so hard to get investment deals out of Michigan companies, yet they have no office on the ground here. Resonant, Godwin says, hopes to be the one to hunt out deals for them.

So far, so good. Last week, Resonant participated in its first VC deal, going into syndication with Palo Alto, CA-based True Ventures on a $1 million investment in Scio Security.

“We’re hoping to be a conduit for deals to some of those bigger funds,” Godwin says. “While we’re going to be a small fund, if we can have syndicate partners that have these big, deep pockets, we … Next Page »

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  • http://www.dailygrommet.com Jules Pieri

    Congrats to Michael and Jason. I know the hard work is just beginning but you are to be commended for recognizing a serious business opportunity… So much serious R and D in Michigan! So little competition!

    This is not a charitable effort–it is a seriously for-profit one and that is great. Just want the whole “flyover zone” needs. (I hate that coastal snobbery term.) Look at all the hot startup activity in Chicago…Michigan even has many advantages over that city so you should have a pick of wonderful deals.

    And the fact that True Ventures, one of the sharpest Bay Area firms, is co-investing with you is validation alone.

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