Former Vulcan partner Dino Vendetti raising cash for new Oregon venture fund

dinovendetti

Dino Vendetti

Dino Vendetti, a former partner at Vulcan and exec at Metawave, has raised $3 million of a $15 million fund for a new Bend, Ore.-based venture fund called Seven Peaks Ventures.

Seven Peaks has a simple website up and describes itself as a “early stage seed fund.”

Vendetti is currently the managing director at Silicon Valley-based Formative Ventures, a position he’s held since 2006. But as Fortune reported last week, that firm appears to be going away soon.

Bend, with a population of about 80,000, is an up-and-coming tech startup town. Vendetti, who was  an exec for a short time at now-defunct Metawave, founded a startup accelerator there called FoundersPad (previously known as LaunchBox), which graduated its first class in May 2012.

Jim Harrer, a mentor at FoundersPad, wrote this blog post about Bend as a good place for startups last summer and noted how the area needed something like Seven Peaks.

“The one thing the area lacks is a regional VC or Seed fund so these entrepreneurs can focus all of their time on their startups without worrying about feeding their families,” he wrote of the town, which is hosting the BendVenture conference later this year.

Portland, Oregon. Photo via Radworld

Portland, Oregon. Photo via Radworld

There aren’t too many homegrown VC funds overall in Oregon, where startups are popping up all over the place. Oregon saw   some huge blockbuster deals in the first quarter — a $30 million round for Puppet Labs; a $33 million round for Janrain and a $25 million round for Urban Airship — as the state overtook Washington in terms of venture capital investing during the first quarter for the first time since 1993.

Portland, the state’s biggest city, is also growing rapidly as a startup hub. In fact, our GeekWire CEO of the Year Sam Blackman from Elemental Technologies told us that the Rose City is the next great startup mecca.

“In my opinion, if you are a software engineer graduating from college right now, there is no better city you can move to than Portland,” he said.

We’ve reached out to Vendetti for more details on Seven Peaks and will update this story when we hear back.

Previously on GeekWire: VC investing tanks in Washington, overtaken by Oregon for first time since 1993