Midwest Rising: Midwestern Success Stories Show that Innovation Ecosystems are Taking Root in the Heartland

by High Alpha

These are funds like High Alpha, which just closed its second $85 million fund, High Alpha Capital II, and raised another $16.5 million for a companion venture studio that ideates and incubates startups.

High Alpha doesn’t exclusively invest in the Midwest, but the bulk of its commitments are definitely falling outside of the typical geographies where most investors spend their time, according to High Alpha managing partner Scott Dorsey, the former chief executive of Indianapolis-based ExactTarget (which Salesforce acquired in 2013).*

For its venture studio, the firms was able to bring back Emergence Capital, the San Francisco-based software as a service investor, and woo new investor Foundry Capital, a Boulder, Colo.-based firm co-founded by the legendary investor Brad Feld. Both Feld and Gordon Ritter, the founder of Emergence Capital will take seats on the High Alpha Studios board.

High Alpha investments have been made in Atlanta, Chicago, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Seattle and Toronto, says Dorsey. “You have a big economic advantage where these companies don’t have to raise nearly as much money,” Dorsey says, echoing the sentiment from Schmidt. “The neat thing also is they see that there’s not just one technology company in town and if it doesn’t work out you’re packing up and moving and seeing an actual ecosystem.”

Check out the full article by Jonathan Shieber in TechCrunch here.