More cash is available for Seattle startups and it’s coming from a familiar place.
TiE Seattle, a local non-profit startup group that helps entrepreneurs, has partnered with Bay Area-based venture capital firm Z5 Capital to create a new fund for Seattle B2B startups called the Z5 Catalyst Funding Initiative.
It’s the latest example of investment dollars flowing up to Seattle from Silicon Valley. Bay Area investors are making a record number of deals in Seattle-area startups, as GeekWire reported in August.
Z5 Capital will make 4-to-6 investments in early-stage Seattle startups developing cloud computing, machine learning, software-as-a-service, and other related technologies. Its check size will range from $500,000 to $1 million.
TiE Seattle will help source the deals for Z5 Capital. TiE Seattle, founded in 2000 as part of the larger TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) global network that spans 61 chapters in 18 countries, will not take equity in the companies but provide dealflow, access to mentors, and other support. It’s an evolution of TiE Angels Group of Seattle (TAGS), an angel investing network.
Seattle cloud governance startup Corestack is the first startup to receive investment from the new initiative. It’s the first Z5 investment in the Seattle region.
Silicon Valley’s Seattle secret: Bay Area investors making record number of deals in region’s startups
Gowri Shanker, a TiE board member who helped create the program with Z5, said the fund helps add to TiE Seattle’s other offerings that include the GoVertical startup weekends; TiE Young Entrepreneurs; TiE Women’s Entrepreneur Network; and the TiE Entrepreneur Institute.
“Our mission is to grow the Seattle entrepreneur ecosystem,” Shanker said. “Funding is an important part of what we need to have in our arsenal to accomplish that mission.”
Added Shanker: “We would like to be part of the success stories that come out of Seattle.”
Sharmilli Ghosh, a veteran entrepreneur who became TiE Seattle’s first female president in 2016, has helped lead a reorganization effort that includes the new funding initiative.
“This is the time for Seattle to make an impact in the global landscape,” she said.
TiE Seattle is also focused on diversity. Women founders account for more than 25 percent of its membership. “It’s definitely an important metric for us,” Ghosh said.
TiE Seattle generates funding through memberships, sponsorships, and general support from the global organization.