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A list of Midwest VCs

Looking to raise venture funds in the Midwest and trying to figure out who to talk to? Below is a list of funds I believe to be active as of the time of this posting.

Sometimes a really hard starting point is just finding out who to talk to. Finding these guys is harder than it should be, but once you do, you just need to maintain a list.

For the most part, these are funds that are not located on the East or West Coast. There may be some exceptions if a fund is clearly active in the Midwest.

A few items worth mentioning:

  • I intentionally left out Angel groups.
  • I intentionally left out funds without websites.
  • The fund size can sometimes be nebulous. Feedback is welcome.
  • This does not include every East and West Coast fund active in the Midwest.
Fund Name Location Fund Size
AAVIN Private Equity Cedar Rapids, IA $80M+
Access Venture Partners Denver, CO ~
Adams Street Partners Chicago, IL $1B+
Advantage Capital Partners St. Louis, MO ~
Allos Ventures Fishers, IN ~
APEX Ventures Chicago, IL $100M+
Arboretum Ventures Cleveland, OH $200M+
Arch Venture Partners Chicago, IL ~
Arther Ventures Fargo, ND ~
Ascension Health Ventures St. Louis, MO $500M+
Ascent Venture Partners Boston, MA $50M+
Baird Capital Partners Chicago, IL ~
Beringea Farmington Hills, MI ~
Blossom Street Ventures Dallas, TX ~
Bluestem Capital Sioux Falls, SD ~
Blue Chip Venture Company Cincinnati, OH $500M
Boulder Ventures Boulder, CO ~
C3 Capital Kansas City, MO $400M+
Centennial Ventures Denver, CO $1B
Chicago Ventures Chicago, IL ~
Chrysalis Louisville, KY ~
CMA Ventures Des Moines, IA ~
CME Ventures Chicago, IL ~
Cultivation Capital St. Louis, MO
Detroit Venture Partners Detroit, MI ~
Drive Capital Columbus, OH $250M+
DRW Chicago, IL ~
Dundee Ventures Omaha, NE $15M+
Early Stage Partners Cleveland, OH $100M
Edison Ventures Cleveland, OH $250M+
Farm Bureau Des Moines, IA ~
FireBrand VC Kansas City, MO ~
FireStarter Fund Chicago, IL ~
First Analysis Chicago, IL ~
Five Elms Prairie Village, KC ~
Flyover Capital Kansas City, MO $100M+
Foundry Group Boulder, CO $500M+
Frontier Charlotte, NC ~
Greenmont Capital Boulder, CO ~
Grotech Ventures Denver, CO ~
High Alpha Indianapolis, IN 20M+
High Country Venture Boulder, CO ~
Hyde Park Venture Partners Chicago, IL ~
JK&B Capital Chicago, IL ~
Jump Capital Chicago, IL ~
KDWC Kansas City, MO ~
Lacuna Capital Boulder, CO ~
Lewis & Clark St. Louis, MO $100M+
Light Bank Chicago, IL $100M+
Ludlow Ventures Detroit, MI ~
ManchesterStory Group Des Moines, IA $31M
Mercury Fund Houston, TX $200M+
Midwest Growth Partners Des Moines, IA $40M+
Mosaix Ventures Chicago, IL ~
Motorola Schaumburg, IL ~
MPM Capital Kansas City, MO $1B+
New Capital Fund LIttle Chute, WI $40M+
Next Level Ventures Des Moines, IA $40M
Noro-Moseley Partners Atlanta, GA ~
OCA Ventures Chicago, IL $100M+
Open Air Equity Partners Kansas City, MO ~
Open Prairie Ventures St. Louis, MO $100M+
Origin Ventures Chicago, IL ~
Prairie Crest Capital Des Moines, IA ~
Prolog Ventures St. Louis, MO ~
Rev1 Columbus, OH $20M+
River Cities Capital Funds Cincinnati, OH $100M+
RiverVest Partners St. Louis, MO $200M+
Rockport Capital Boston, MA ~
Sequel Venture Partners Boulder, CO ~
Spectrum Equity Boston, MA $4B+
SSM Partners Memphis, TN ~
Sunbridge Partners Beachwood, OH ~
Venture Investors Madison, WI $200M
Vista Ventures Boulder, CO ~

There are more that I know I’m missing.

If you have recommendations on funds I missed, please post them in the comments and I’ll add them. You can also contact me on Twitter with the addition.

Please also feel free to reach out with corrections in the comments as well. This list will need to evolve over time.

Ben Milne is a co-founder of Clay & Milk and the founder of Dwolla, a technology company in Des Moines.


  • Tej Dhawan
    Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    May I suggest a version 2.0 edit? Highlight the VC firms who have been active in C&M’s footprint. So, if the footprint is upper midwest, highlight those who have led or followed an investment in IA/MN/NE/MO/ND/SD over the past 24-36 months. It may make the list more usable.

    • Ben Milne (@bpmilne)
      Posted January 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Would love to make this addition in the future. Any additions you have or comments you’d be comfortable sharing about activity is super helpful.

      Segmenting down to series and sector focus will also save founders and investors a lot of time.

Comments are closed.

A list of Midwest VCs | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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