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Rev1 Ventures Launches $10MM Pre-Seed Fund with OSU & Ohio Third Frontier


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Press Release by Heather Harmon on 03/10/2021

Today, Rev1 Ventures, the startup studio that combines capital and strategic services to help startups scale and corporates innovate, is launching Future Value Fund I (FVF), a new $10MM for-profit investment fund focused on building the Central Ohio startup ecosystem. The Fund is the company’s most significant pre-seed fund to date and the largest pre-seed stage fund in Columbus history. The Ohio State University joins Rev1 to invest in the Fund, with the Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed/Seed Plus Fund Capitalization Program providing a $5 million loan to bring the total fund capitalization to $10 million.

According to the National Venture Capital Association, startups in the U.S. raised nearly $157 billion in venture funding last year. However, pre-seed investment remains a gap, especially in the Midwest, where venture capital formation still lags coastal cities.

The Future Value Fund is designed to provide pre-seed-stage companies with the resources to bridge this gap. The Fund enables companies to effectively and efficiently validate their product with key customers and markets, identify and recruit early key talent, and provide critical insights for entrepreneurs in building and then scaling their businesses. The Fund will invest in up to 15 companies in digital health, healthcare IT, HR technology, fintech, insurtech, data analytics, and enterprise Software-as-a-Service. The Fund will also invest in spinouts from The Ohio State University in Advanced Materials, Alternative Energy, Sensors and Hardware, and Ag and Food Tech.

“We’ve proven the tremendous opportunity to build and scale high-tech, high-growth startups in Central Ohio; however, the capital gap for entrepreneurs is real. Quality entrepreneurs must be met with capital and services to build great companies,” said Tom Walker, CEO of Rev1 Ventures. “Our region knows what it takes to support early-stage companies. By collaborating with Ohio Third Frontier and Ohio State, FVF will allow us to broaden our resources to even more entrepreneurs and fuel Ohio’s economy.”

The FVF will build upon Rev1’s success in managing more than $100MM in capital, which has generated over $4B in capital creation since 2014. The FVF will leverage Rev1’s industry-leading startup studio to efficiently source and nurture a growing volume of deal flow, thereby increasing the probability of success and optimizing the brightest startup companies’ growth in the region.

“Our collaborations with Rev1 have helped commercialize research-based breakthroughs from Ohio State, and we recognize that capital and support early on is critical,” said Cheryl Turnbull, senior director for the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio State. “We have committed capital to FVF because we recognize such funds are necessary to support the technologies and entrepreneurs that are propelling the startup ecosystem in Ohio.”

“As an early-stage company, Rev1 has been vital in helping us better understand the landscape in Ohio while accelerating our time to market,” said Samuel Baddoo, founder and CEO of Fleri. “Funding and expertise are more important now than ever before, so we are especially grateful that Rev1 is in our backyard.”

Last year, Rev1 funded 25 companies, making it one of the most active investors nationally.

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