Photo: Iowa Tourism Office

Village Ventures Fund II

When we founded Village Ventures in 2000, we observed that nearly 80% of the venture capital in the United States was in California or Massachusetts. That made no sense to us, given our belief that talent, drive and inspiration are spread throughout the country. It has been a critical investment thesis for us to look for entrepreneurs and companies in regions that are underserved by the traditional venture capital community. Iowa is a great example of one such community. The state is laden with talent, well endowed with sophisticated academic institutions, and deserves the attention of investors like Village Ventures.

--Matt Harris, Village Ventures Co-founder and Managing General Partner

Address: Village Ventures
10 E 53rd, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (413) 458-1100

Management Team and Iowa Contacts

  • Matt Harris, Co-founder and Managing General Partner
  • Matt Warta, Venture Partner
  • Bryan Birsic, Senior Associate

Investment Preferences

Village Ventures is a seed and early stage venture capital firm focusing on the consumer media/retail and financial services sectors. Our strategy is to partner with leading entrepreneurs creating innovative products and solving complicated problems in those industries.

When it comes to seed and early stage investing, we believe that there is strength in numbers. True early stage firms are necessarily small, and therefore often lack the scale required to effectively support their entrepreneurs. Village Ventures has built a platform, which it offers to other seed and early stage firms, to provide for collaboration, co-investment and administrative cost sharing. This network is a powerful tool to expand our reach and make us more effective partners for our portfolio companies.

Sector Preferences

  • Companies in Three Sectors: The best way to deliver value as a partner to an entrepreneur is to be focused in his/her sector, and bring a network of connections and an educated perspective. We are looking to help build companies in financial services, media and healthcare.
  • Big ideas: Every company has risks, however modest or audacious its goals. While those risks tend to dissipate with maturity, they never go away. Given this, our preference is to fund companies where, if we all succeed, we have a chance to create an extremely valuable enterprise. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t have a niche strategy at the outset, to establish some market penetration, but ultimately we like to back entrepreneurs solving big problems.
  • Opportunity to Own a Sizeable Stake: We think it’s in everyone’s best interest to have our portfolio companies matter to us. Our goal is to own at least 20% of each of our portfolio companies, which means that we have a serious stake in their success. We understand that this means we have to take the risks associated with coming in early, and we welcome that.