Chicago venture capital firm plans local office

March 10, 2015

Hyde Park Venture Partners plans to establish an Indianapolis office to be led by former ExactTarget executive Tim Kopp, a move that's expected to add some much-needed venture capital to the local startup scene.

The Chicago-based firm intends finalize a location on Monument Circle this spring. Managing Partner Guy Turner said his firm, one of the Midwest's most prominent, has been eyeing Indianapolis for about two years.

"It's got this unique combination of entrenched business experience, startup experience and under that, an incredible talent pool," he said of the city.

Kopp was chief marketing officer at ExactTarget from 2008 until January 2014, six months after it was acquired by Salesforce.com for $2.5 billion. He said he's looking forward to this next chapter of his life. Among other things, the 41-year-old has spent the past year as a business adviser and angel investor.

"I want this chapter to be about building up the next generation of great entrepreneurs," Kopp said, "and connecting companies with the capital they need to reach their full potential."

The move stands to not only increase deal flow for Hyde Park, but also boost a fledgling venture capital system locally. Some startups here struggle with access to funding, observers said, having to scrape together capital to fuel early growth.

"The companies that have obvious strengths and compelling stories are getting funded, whether locally or from the coasts," Don Aquilano of Carmel-based Allos Ventures said. "But the other companies end up piecing together angel rounds with smaller regional investments."

Hyde Park focuses on high-growth business-to-business software startups in the Midwest, particularity those with annual revenue between $500,000 and $3 million.

The firm’s portfolio of investments include social media analytics firm Geofeedia, whose sales grew 857 percent in 2014 to more than $3 million. Chicago-based Geofeedia opened an office in Indianapolis last December.

Aquilano said Hyde Park's presence could attract other venture capital to the city and help close deals that might not otherwise get done.

"Many investors prefer to co-invest as opposed to invest by themselves," he said. "So any new partner in the ecosystem is welcome."


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