The fund allows Cole and Wendt to formalize their angel investing and perhaps align with local organizations such as Oregon Entrepreneurs Network. The two expect working with groups like OEN will help with deal flow.
While the firm isn’t releasing details on fund size, it will write seed investment checks between $5,000 and $25,000. The fund will target niche markets, community-based businesses and minority entrepreneurs, according to the founders. The two plan to keep the fund small consisting of their own capital and don’t plan to seek outside limited partners.
The smaller check size and attention to startups outside technology is a differentiator for the fund, although Tole [sic] and Wendt won’t rule out a tech investment.
Cowen Partners founders Shawn Cole and Ash Wendt build things. Both are serial entrepreneurs who met each other while employed as recruiters. Soon after, they launched Cowen Partners, which has quickly become one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading executive search and consulting firms. Clients range from startups backed by venture capital to Fortune 100 public companies. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include director and manager level leadership roles. Cowen Partners has particular expertise in finding highly qualified CFO’s and building world class sales teams.
Their next project is a new venture capital fund, dubbed the Cowen Partners Venture Fund, that will focus solely on seed funding and early stage startups in the Pacific Northwest. Besides being successful entrepreneurs themselves, Cowen Partners has vast experience in identifying the core strengths and skills that provide effective leadership for venture capital and portfolio investment companies.
“This is really exciting for us and frankly makes a lot of sense. We have the capital to invest, have access to a large network of talented and successful people, and work with a lot of venture backed clients.” Shawn Cole, President
The Cowen Partners Venture Fund has raised an undisclosed amount of money and is derived almost entirely from company and personal contributions of its Founders, Shawn Cole and Ash Wendt. According to Cole, it is small by design.
Cole shares, “The fund is intentionally small because let’s face it, this isn’t our day job. The capital is almost entirely made up of investments from the company and its founders, not endowments and pension funds. We only partner with a select group of community organizations so we can really get involved and identify potential investment opportunities early on.”
Focusing almost entirely on niche markets, community businesses, and minority entrepreneurs, Wendt refers to their investments as an experiment.
Wendt states, “The Cowen Partners Venture Fund is part community and part experiment. The concept is to bring together our existing network of successful founders and operators who have built companies from the ground up. The goal is to come together, pool capital, networks and expertise to support the next generation.”
Both Cole and Wendt are looking forward to giving back to their local business community, inspiring like-minded entrepreneurs to reach their true potential with the necessary resources and support.
If you want more information on the Cowen Partners Venture Fund, visit www.CowenPartners.com
Cowen Partners is the nation’s executive search firm, enabling companies to harness the power of human capital to fuel their success. Cowen Partners gives our clients access to the top 1% of human capital to create opportunities that accelerate their growth and market share. With Cowen Partners, clients can grow at scale, create value, and drive results with world class talent. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations.
Clients are typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include VP and director level leadership roles.
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