Plymouth Ventures doesn't typically add partners to its team, and it's not for lack of qualified candidates. That changed this year for the Ann Arbor-based venture capital firm as it added a new partner and chief financial officer to go with its new $61 million investment vehicle.
"We get about 10 resumes a year from people who grew up in Michigan, went to Washington, D.C, or San Francisco, got married, had children, and want to come home," says Jeff Barry, partner with Plymouth Ventures
. "We get 10 really good resumes each year. We usually send them along (to other investment firms) to get placed. This time we happened to be looking for someone."
Two new someones to be exact. Plymouth Ventures brought on Chris Frick as its CFO and Evan Ufer (grandson of University of Michigan broadcasting legend Bob Ufer
) as a partner. Both are Michigan returnees from the coasts. Ufer, who is in his mid 30s with a young family, worked in private equity in New York City before coming back to Ann Arbor. Barry points out that Ufer and Frick's resumes stood out so much that the firm knew it had to hire both to help maintain the company's growth.
"We knew we were going to need some added horse power to deploy more capital," Barry says.
closed on its third investment vehicle worth $61 million earlier this month. That’s up from its second fund from a few years ago that totaled $41 million. Plymouth Ventures invests in scalable tech companies in the Midwest and has $100 million under management today. The firm's average investment ranges between $2 million and $6 million.
The 11-year-old firm invested two thirds of its last investment fund in Michigan-based startups. Plymouth Ventures expects to invest about half of its new fund in Michigan-based companies. It has already made its first investment for the new fund earlier this year (Ohio-based Certified Security Solutions
) and is on target to make a couple more before the end of the year.
"We're looking at a handful of great companies in the Great Lakes region," Barry says. "We expect to do 2 more (investments) before the end of the year."
Source: Jeff Barry, partner with Plymouth Ventures
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.