SunDown is moving into some uncharted territory. Just recently, SunDown has created SunDown Fund I, LLC with the purpose of raising a small risk capital fund for very early stage companies. After about eight months of research, SunDown has identified a major gap in funding in Ohio – namely the true seed capital needed by entrepreneurs that have bootstrapped their idea so far, but need a little extra cash and talent to make it past their first major milestone.
The good part, if you can say that about a funding gap, is that VentureOhio has identified the same kind of funding gap in Ohio, so we have some third-party validation that this problem does indeed exist. As a matter of fact, VentureOhio has identified more than a $500M shortfall for all start-ups seeking early stage investments (seed, angel, Series A, etc.) in Ohio. This is a bad thing, since it forces home grown start-ups to seek funding elsewhere and move out of state – bad for job growth, bad for the economy, bad for Ohio.
Now, we are only raising a total of $4.5M from institutional and accredited investors, which would only put a 1% dent in the shortfall, but we have to start somewhere in getting the risk capital into the hands of entrepreneurs to build their companies. We want to help pour the gasoline on the fire to really get things moving in Ohio.