CINCINNATI, OHIO, July 24, 2019 – Cintrifuse, a Cincinnati-based startup catalyst and syndicate fund, has officially closed its second fund. Nearly 30 corporations, businesses, foundations, and individuals have committed to this new $56 million fund, which builds on the previous strategy for Fund I – leveraging a wide network of venture capital funds to deliver innovation to corporate investors and increase venture activity to generate resources for startups in the region.
The funding comes from many regionally-based stakeholders including local corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati Financial Corporation, The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Great American Insurance, Scripps Media Inc., The Kroger Co. and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – as well as non-local entities like AAA Club Alliance and The J.M. Smucker Company.
“We have a strong group of collaborators, both from Cincinnati and around the country,” said Sarah Anderson, Fund Manager at Cintrifuse. “The commitment from this diverse set of investors will allow Cintrifuse and the fund to continue to partner with world-class venture funds and obtain access to some of the most innovative technologies our investors may otherwise not have the opportunity to see. I am excited to work with our entire family of investors over the next few years.”
The fund provides exposure to a network of more than 700 venture capital fund managers and thousands of startups, driving access to cutting-edge emerging technologies and innovation. Its unique strategy allows Cintrifuse to partner with top fund managers while still while still prioritizing the goal of strong financial returns.
“The Fund supercharges our efforts to increase resources for our startups as we pursue the mission of being the number one startup hub in the Midwest. This closing will drive a stronger center of gravity of talent and resources for our corporations, our startups, and our region,” said Pete Blackshaw, CEO at Cintrifuse.
Blackshaw recently joined as CEO after nearly 8 years leading digital innovation at Nestle, SA in Switzerland. “The fund was the unique lure that drew me back to Cincinnati and I’m thrilled that it’s now fortified by not only more capital, but also more advocates for our innovation economy,” Blackshaw added.
The Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund focuses investments on early-stage, reputable funds that align primarily with sectors and industries of investors interests and needs. Cintrifuse is currently invested in 18 prominent venture capital firms throughout the United States – including nationally-recognized funds like Lerer Hippeau, Bullpen Capital, boldstart, Greycroft, Madrona Venture Group, Maveron and Upfront Ventures. This enables Cintrifuse to be an indirect investor in breakthrough brands and business models including: Allbirds (lifestyle footwear), Bird (mobility), Magenta Therapeutics (health care) and Ring (smart home).
“The Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund is at the core of the mission of Cintrifuse – building a sustainable, tech-based economy in Cincinnati – and the closing of Fund II puts an accent mark on how critical this type of investment is to our region,” said Valarie Sheppard, Controller, Treasurer and EVP Company Transition Leader at P&G and Board Chair at Cintrifuse. “The fund was originally created to attract venture capital to the region and, through the years, has grown into a strong and viable investment engine that is delivering outperforming financial results to its investors.”
Cintrifuse also uses the Syndicate Fund to leverage partnership for local corporations like The Kroger Co. In 2018, thanks in part to a relationship facilitated through the Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund and its investment in Upfront Ventures – Kroger was able to bring the innovative technology of Apeel Sciences into its stores. Apeel Sciences currently focuses on biotech that can be applied to avocados to extend their shelf life.
“The closing of a second fund is a huge step forward for Cintrifuse and for Cincinnati,” said Tom Williams, Cintrifuse Board Member and one of the original architects of Cintrifuse. “The vision is being realized, and our model is nationally recognized. We are all excited for what this new chapter holds.”
To find out more about the Syndicate Fund head to cintrifuse.com/how-it-works/syndicate-fund/.
Cintrifuse has one very clear mission: to make Greater Cincinnati the #1 tech startup hub in the midwest and among the most attractive innovation hubs in the nation. This is a critical mission for our region because winning in the startup space stimulates our economy and invigorates our community. It creates jobs, brings talent, attracts investment, and unlocks our region’s potential to lead innovation in a wide range of industries.