SeedFundersOrlando - New Orlando Seed-Stage Investment Group Launches
A new seed-stage investment group has been formed in Orlando called SeedFundersOrlando. The group will leverage the success and utilize the structure and procedures of the successful SeedFunders in St. Petersburg. SeedFunders now has 28 partners who have each invested $25,000 in the organization. SeedFunders has invested in 10 startups, primarily in the Tampa Bay area.
Dave Chitester founded SeedFunders a year and a half ago, having previously founded and led the early-stage investment group Florida Funders. Dave is the Chairman of SeedFundersOrlando and Dennis R. Pape, cofounder and managing director of the Orlando coworking space Catalyst and founder and managing director of the Orlando advanced tech accelerator program VentureScaleUp is the CEO of SeedFundersOrlando. The organization already has 4 investors and is targeting 10 investors by the beginning of September. The organization is also targeting beginning investing in startups in September. SeedFundersOrlando will provide funding and mentorship - primarily to pre-revenue startups. Funding size is expected to be on the order of $100,000 to $150,000.
SeedFundersOrlando fills the seed-stage capital gap in Orlando. Startups primarily get their first funding from founders, friends, family, and individual angel investors. But this amount is usually not enough for the startup to get to market and achieve revenue. There is a capital gap because early-stage investment groups in Orlando, as well as the rest of Florida, including venVelo and DeepWork Capital, primarily invest in revenue producing startups.
Some in the Orlando tech community have expressed concern that Orlando startups are leaving Orlando for funding in major cities outside Florida. While there may be a few Orlando startups that have relocated outside the state, a more real concern is that startups are leaving Orlando for funding in Tampa and Miami. An example of such a startup is TSOLife from Sanford. TSOLife has developed a platform that allows seniors in nursing homes and assisted living centers to create personal legacies for their family. TSOLife was a graduate of VentureScaleUp at Catalyst. TSOLife moved to Tampa and SeedFunders invested $100,000 in the startup. They have gained nursing home clients and early revenue and now Florida Funders is investing $1M into TSOLife. SeedFundersOrlando can address the seed-stage capital gap here in Orlando and fund startups like TSOLife so they can scale here in Orlando.