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Reinventing Venture Capital: New funds are taking unique approaches to early stage investing

Pittsburgh Business Times

Money talks, actions speak louder than words, and both adages are about to play out in Pittsburgh with the promise of invigorating what some consider a stifled ecosystem and cliquish culture.

Pittsburgh has had a shortage of locally-based venture capital funds that do early stage investing for several years, but now the landscape may be changing. Four have been announced since last fall — Black Tech Nation Ventures (BTN), The Fund Midwest, Magarac Venture Partners (MVP) and 412 Venture Fund LP. Just two — 412 Venture Fund and The Fund Midwest — have reached first close, the halfway point where they can begin investing, although neither has done so yet. But few doubt that the money will be raised.


“It’s very significant,” said James Barnes, head of Blank Rome LLP’s Pittsburgh office and a lawyer who has worked on the money end of the local tech scene since 1988. “It’s a recognition that, although we live in a global economy and capital is free-flowing, it’s very important to have local capital, especially for emerging companies. They know the unique talent pool and opportunities, and they have a vested interest in that company continuing to grow and have a strong presence in the region.”

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“Reinventing Venture Capital: New funds are taking unique approaches to early stage investing,” by Patty Tascarella, was published in Pittsburgh Business Times on June 11, 2021.