New Ann Arbor Firm, Resonant Venture Partners, Hopes to Team Up with Coastal VCs on Michigan Investments
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can do deals that are a little bit bigger in size and scale than what we could do on our own.”
That’s also how you build momentum, Godwin says. Build up the attention and level of deal flow, and then institutional money will come.
Resonant is currently raising what it hopes will be a $10 million to $20 million fund in a year. This is their first VC firm, but the partners, Godwin and Townsend, are far from newbies. They received real-world training at the University of Michigan’s Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, where last year they were both managing directors of the student-run Wolverine Venture Fund.
“During our time there we realized there’s a huge opportunity here in Michigan,” Godwin says. “We also met many of the venture capitalists in Michigan and were watching the industry sort of shift downstream in risk preferences.” Investors were taking fewer risks and moving toward more deals that would almost qualify as sure things, he says.
“And, yet,” Godwin says, “we have all this R&D spending in the region.” So, Godwin and Townsend told each other, “Hey, that’s an opportunity for us,” he says. “Let’s jump on it and give it a run.”
Godwin knows it won’t be easy to raise money for Resonant, which will focus on investments in IT software and hardware, but he knows from experience that Michigan has some worthwhile tech seeds just waiting to be nurtured.
“We’re definitely going to have some challenges,” Godwin says, “But we’ve actually had a lot of excitement from those we’ve approached.”
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