Excell to manage $25M Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund
A new $25 million Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund has been established to provide early stage capital investments for startup companies in key high-tech industries. The fund will be managed by Excell Technology Ventures, an offshoot of Excell Partners, and was a priority project identified to help increase access to capital for growing companies in the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative strategic plan.
The FLX Fund will provide early-venture stage capital investments ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million for startup companies in key high-tech industries such as advanced manufacturing, life and material sciences, optics, photonics & imaging and others.
“This fund will help to close the capital gap by providing funding that will help high tech startups expand and grow,” said Theresa Mazzullo, CEO of Excell Partners. “Excell’s 12-year track record shows a direct correlation with investment and job creation. The FLX Fund is guaranteed to bring more new jobs to the Finger Lakes Region.”
To be eligible for an investment from the FLX Fund, a company will be required to be located somewhere within the nine-county Finger Lakes region, and maintain either its headquarters in the area or ensure that at least 75 percent of its employees are working in the region for a period of no less than three years after that initial investment.
“With our ongoing investment in this innovative company and the addition of the Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund, we will further bolster the Rochester Downtown Innovation Zone and continue to move the larger Finger Lakes economy forward,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The targeted investments will require a 2:1 private to public match over the life of the fund, with a minimum 1:1 match for any individual investment. Empire State Development will receive 80 percent of the fund profits or gains from the investment; Excell Technology Ventures will retain 20 percent to be reinvested in the fund.
Excell Partners, an affiliate of the University of Rochester, is a seed and early stage venture fund that invests in high tech startups supporting the Finger Lakes region’s economic pillars.