Venture funds have been springing up everywhere in recent years. But a decade ago, it was far more difficult to build a new venture brand far away from a tech hub like Silicon Valley, New York, or Boston.
One firm that has pulled if off is Ludlow Ventures, an 11-year-old, Detroit-based seed-stage venture firm that’s in the process of closing its fourth fund with $65 million in capital commitments, according to SEC paperwork filed this week.
We’ve reached out to firm founder Jonathon Triest, who declined to comment, citing SEC regulations.
Triest began building Ludlow as a twentysomething University of Michigan grad who worked as strategic marketing consultant for Sony-BMG in Atlanta before returning home with his wife to be closer to family. Working initially with his attorney father, he began investing in startups on a deal-by-deal basis, using his base in Detroit to his advantage by showing by investors and founders he could grow and leverage a network.
Triest started to gain traction, too. Early and continuing investors include prominent individuals Dan Gilbert, the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers (Ludlow has long shared an office with Gilbert’s venture firm). Ludlow has also garnered growing institutional support over the years, including from Vintage Investment Partners, Grinnell College, and Foundry Group.
Part of the appeal, seemingly, is the fresh perspective that the team brings to the many places where it is now investing. Indeed, though Ludlow was