Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures (MSIV) today announced the formal launch and final closing of the North Bay Area’s first ever regional venture capital fund.
“For the first time in our community’s history, there is now pooled capital and professional management with an obligation to deploy that capital into Marin + Sonoma’s most promising young enterprises,” said Zachary Kushel, Founder and Managing Partner of Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures. “This is a critical demarcation point for the economic future of this community, and I’m so excited for all that is ahead as we work to grow innovation and job creation north of the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Kushel.
To date, the Fund has completed four investments in local startup companies, which includes Corte Madera’s Finalis, Larkspur’s Novi, Santa Rosa’s Operant Networks, and Mill Valley’s NewRetirement. MSIV Fund I plans to make early-stage venture capital investments across sectors in companies that plan to grow and create jobs across Marin + Sonoma counties. MSIV targets completing investments in 15 North Bay startup companies over the course of its three-year investment period.
“I’m thrilled to join this ‘Invest Local’ movement and back entrepreneurs in our backyard who are intent on building the next great North Bay company,” said Mill Valley’s Paul Solli, Co-Founder of Sausalito-based Aperio Group (now part of BlackRock) and an investor in the Fund. “This is long overdue, and I’m excited for the potential of MSIV to catalyze job creation and economic growth across Marin + Sonoma,” said Solli.
“Like so many North Bay natives, post-college when it came time to find a career, I had to hit the road,” said Petaluma’s Tom Isaak, a longtime local entrepreneur, and investor in the Fund. “When I ultimately came home to start a company, I would have benefited greatly from a strong local entrepreneurial community. MSIV is filling that void, and I’m excited there is now a vehicle where community leaders can invest in our best and brightest citizens poised to be the next generation of local job creators,” said Isaak.
“MSIV is executing on a long-term vision to usher in a new era of local economic prosperity,” said Jake Walker, a San-Rafael-based attorney, and investor in the Fund. “By identifying startups with the potential to build category-defining enterprises and rallying our community behind them, MSIV is making it more likely these companies will grow here in our community,” said Walker.
MSIV’s community-based fundraise achieved backing from long-time Marin + Sonoma residents as well as newer arrivals. The Fund’s 62 investors include prominent North Bay CEOs, seasoned professional investors, serial startup founders, and public company executives and board chairs, all who were eager to see MSIV’s vision for a place-based impact investment fund become a reality in the North Bay community.
Alongside its investment Fund, MSIV has spurred the creation of a robust Marin + Sonoma startup community, led by MSIV VP Community Elizabeth Murphy and MSIV Startup Advisor in Residence Mike P Lewis. The community includes the North Bay Founder Network, a first-of-its-kind peer and skill-building group that now supports more than 130 Founder/CEOs of early-stage Marin + Sonoma startups, and the MSIV Executive Network, a group of 42 local C-level executives from a diverse set of sectors and functions who are mentoring the next generation of North Bay entrepreneurs.