Madison, WI, April 11, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- Continuing its commitment to establish Wisconsin as a national startup hub by investing in growth-stage startups, the Badger Fund of Funds has joined Rock River Capital Partners and local investors to form Rock River Capital Partners Fund I, a new southern Wisconsin-based venture capital fund. The Badger Fund has committed to invest $6 million dollars as the anchor investor in this new venture capital fund, its third investment commitment in a new Wisconsin-based venture capital funds in the past year.
The Rock River Capital Partners Fund I will be managed by Andrew Walker and Christopher Eckstrom, two startup and investment leaders who were raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the UW-Madison. Each has moved back to Wisconsin with their families to start the Fund. Walker has a track record for managing startups through acquisition and most recently was a CEO of a data analytics startup in Chicago that was acquired by a strategic competitor. Eckstrom joins Rock River Capital Partners from an international investment bank where he worked in the principal investing arm. Based in Chicago, Eckstrom spent the last decade managing a significant portfolio of investments in public and privately held companies.
Tagged “The Wisconsin Valley of Death,” the need for venture capital firms with a focus on investing $1 million dollars or more in growing Wisconsin startups is broadly recognized among local entrepreneurs.
“The Rock River Capital Partners team sees and expects to meet this very real need,” said Ken Johnson, a partner in the Badger Fund. “We recognize Andy and Chris are a terrific team to invest in the growing Wisconsin winner startups.”
“A successful venture capital ecosystem needs a variety of venture capital firms managed by high caliber teams,” said Brian Birk, managing partner of Sun Mountain Capital and a Badger Fund partner. “Wisconsin has the ingredients we seek for a first-class startup ecosystem – University of Wisconsin campuses, great corporations with strong community and government support -- but needs someone to bring the parties together.”
The Rock River Capital management team can meet that need given its unique combination of entrepreneurial and investing experience.
“In the last couple of months the first two Badger Fund portfolio funds, the Idea Fund of La Crosse and the Winnebago Seed Fund in the Fox Valley have announced first closes,” said Johnson. “These funds are expected to provide opportunities from different Wisconsin geographies for the new Rock River Capital Partners Fund.”
“The Badger Fund allocates substantial time and resources to evaluating and developing local venture fund managers, often with the bias that knowing the culture and the people are equally important as a deep knowledge of the start-up industry,” Birk added.
About the Badger Fund of Funds
The Badger Fund of Funds I, L.P. was formed in 2015 to invest in Wisconsin based venture capital funds. In 2011, Kegonsa and Sun Mountain agreed to form a partnership to manage a Wisconsin based Fund of Funds investment program. The State of Wisconsin, individuals, institutions and the fund manager have invested over $30 million in the Badger Fund. www.badgerfundoffunds.com
About Sun Mountain Capital
Sun Mountain Capital is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was founded in 2006 to focus on private equity investing in high potential underserved geographies. Sun Mountain Capital is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). www.sunmountaincapital.com
About Kegonsa Capital Partners
Kegonsa Capital Partners was founded in 2004. Currently Kegonsa manages the Kegonsa Seed Fund I, LP, and Kegonsa Coinvest Fund, LLC. Both funds are based in Wisconsin with a focus on seed and early stage investments in Wisconsin based startup companies. The Kegonsa fund’s primary focus is investor return. www.kegonsapartners.com
About Rock River Capital Partners
Rock River Capital Partners is a newly-formed venture capital firm based in Southern Wisconsin. The firm is committed to investing in and growing Wisconsin early-stage companies. Rock River Capital Partners Fund I, L.P. will be RRCP’s first managed fund. As a fund within the Badger Fund of Funds, RRCP Fund I is industry agnostic and targets companies that are focused on disruptive, innovative technology solutions. RRCP’s primary focus is to generate superior returns for investors. www.rockrivercapital.com