We’ll expand our geographic footprint a little bit, but continue to focus on early-stage venture opportunities.

Sound the alarm bells, there’s a new fund in town! Royal Street Ventures is announcing the launch of a $25 million fund targeting early-stage startups from the Midwestern and Western United States. If this isn’t exciting news to you, it should be — your early-stage startup that needs an influx of cash now has another attractive option, just make sure your entrepreneurial skills are in order.

“This year we decided we wanted to raise a little bit larger fund and continue working on some of the seed investment stuff we’ve been doing, so we are launching Royal Street Ventures,” said Jeff Stowell, Managing Director of Royal Street Ventures. “When our investments have worked and done well for us, it’s because we have a great entrepreneur. It’s been about the ethic and hard work and smarts of the entrepreneur, that’s what we care about more than anything else. So we’re largely agnostic when it comes to the types of companies we look at.”

Royal Street Ventures has offices in Park City, UT, and Kansas City, MO, with a four person team spread across both areas: Stowell, Laura Brady (in charge of running the Kansas City office), Ben Rifkin, and Stephanie Spong. Over the past four years, as part of Royal Street Investment & Innovation Center, they have invested in companies from Utah, Colorado, and the Bay Area. That will continue, with an additional concentration on opportunities in the midwest.

“There aren’t too many people doing early-stage financing in the midwest,” Stowell said. “Because there’s a lack of early-stage capital, we fill like there’s a lot of missed opportunity, a lot of great companies that are having a hard time getting financed. We think we can service that market and we think it’s a great marketplace that’s emerging in terms of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Is it fair that Kansas City gets the 2015 World Series champions AND access to a brand-new fund focused on early-stage startups? I’m not qualified to be the judge of that, but at least they have Andy Reid’s clock management to balance things out.

In the meantime, startups can take solace knowing that Royal Street Ventures is combing through the Rocky Mountain area looking for quality entrepreneurs. Sorry to go Eminem on everyone, but opportunity knocks.

“We’ll expand our geographic footprint a little bit, but continue to focus on early-stage venture opportunities,” Stowell said. “Companies that have raised a friends and family round, definitely have some traction, maybe a little bit of revenue to go with that, and are looking for some organized capital to help accelerate their growth, that’s where we like to play.”

Published 1/21/2016