Congressman Tim Ryan Announces $2.25 Million Comeback Capital Fund
Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan announces the creation of the $2.25 million Comeback Capital Fund, which was spurred by the success of the Comeback Cities Tour, led by Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) and helped by Bloomberg Beta.
Comeback Capital, led by Scott Shane, was created to bridge the divide between Silicon Valley investors and Midwestern startups -- originally suggested by Cyan Banister who is a partner at Founders Fund. Investors include Patrick McKenna of High Ridge VP, Bloomberg Beta, and the accelerator, Gener8tor, along with over 30 other individuals and funds.
The fund pools money from active Midwestern and coastal investors, and has partners in Northeast Ohio, Southeast Michigan, Pittsburgh and Chicago. The limited partners (LPs) in the fund are encouraged to invest alongside it, bringing needed capital to Midwestern startups from inside and outside the region.
“I am proud to have been able to use my position to connect investors from the coasts with the cutting-edge innovation happening here in the Midwest. Last spring, a group of venture capitalists and I embarked on a tour of the Midwest to explore the investment opportunities that are all too often overlooked – starting the trip right here in Youngstown. Over the course of the trip, ideas were exchanged, relationships grew and partnerships were forged that will pay dividends for years – one of those dividends is the Comeback Capital Fund. This fund will invest directly into new companies across the Midwest and help our economy grow. I look forward to continuing to work with them to bring these needed investments to communities like ours,” said Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH).
“This is another example of how Tim Ryan thinks outside the box to build a strong economic infrastructure in the Midwest. Concepts like the Comeback Capital Fund will help move us from the Rustbelt to the Innovation belt. New technological investments are the most secure way to see real and long-term growth. It is a pleasure to work with Congressman Ryan as he builds bridges to the future for Youngstown and all of Northeast Ohio,” said Jamael Tito Brown, Mayor of City of Youngstown.
"Access to capital is the biggest challenge our portfolio companies face. This fund will provide our companies with another avenue for finding the resources they need to go from concept to product. And, the connections to the East and West Coasts will also provide access to other investors, technology experts, marquis customers and talent," said Barb Ewing, Chief Executive Officer of the Youngstown Business Incubator.
The Comeback Capital Fund is targeting pre-seed stage companies whose customer base lies in the Midwest and that should stay in the Midwest.
"Capital should be mobile. Startups serving customers in the Midwest should not move to San Francisco to raise money and then try to serve customers in Youngstown, Detroit and Indianapolis from California. The capital should move here instead," said Scott Shane, managing director of the Comeback Capital Fund.
"Supporting very early stage founders and creating connections is a big vision and critical to success I’m excited to be involved with Comeback Capital as an LP and advisor. The fund is addressing key challenges facing high-potential startups based outside Silicon Valley as well as investors looking for opportunities. Early stage companies require access to know-how and knowledge networks in addition to capital to succeed. It’s also difficult for investors to find promising early stage companies outside of their core areas. The Comeback Capital team is close to the market and has the local experience to bridge this gap. I’m confident this combination will result in many new entrepreneurs solving unique problems in different places,” said Patrick McKenna, Founder, HighRidge Venture Partners.
Each of Comeback Capital’s LPs are active investors and all have agreed to agree to advise at least one company in the fund. The concept here is to build the network ties between Midwestern startups and coastal investors and to bring coastal expertise in financing start-ups to the Midwest.
A second tour is kicking off tomorrow (October 17-19th) in the South, with a focus on historically black colleges and universities. Stops will include cities in NC, SC, and GA. Representatives Ryan and Khanna will again host the trip, along with Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) – who serves as Assistant Minority Leader of the House of Representative, third in Democratic Leadership. Bloomberg Beta will again help organize the investors and tour.