(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Investors and startup founders got together at City Garage last week to hear about a new potential funding network. In this case, they could also join and provide funding.
Amid an expansion, D.C.-based NextGen Venture Partners launched a chapter in Baltimore. Already in New York, Austin, Chicago and Boston, the organization is also adding Atlanta and Raleigh-Durham this year. You can find the full roster of Baltimore members here.
Founder Dan Mindus said NextGen already has contact with Baltimore startup-backing organizations, and identified the city’s “strong and growing startup ecosystem” as a community that could benefit from more capital.
In each local chapter, the group brings together existing investors and entrepreneurs who may want to start writing checks. They meet once a month for pitch meetings, and members can decide whether to fund a company. Typically, NextGen comes in between a seed round and Series A, with investments totaling about $200,000-$600,000.
— @Brett Gibson (@brettgibson1) March 17, 2016
That may sound a bit like Baltimore Angels, which is already well established in providing early-stage funding to local startups.
But one key difference comes in NextGen’s national network.
Any deal identified by the local chapter is also opened up to the NextGen groups in other cities, which can create more exposure for Baltimore startups. Brian Razzaque, one of the founding members of the Baltimore chapter and CEO of SocialToaster, also pointed out that along with deals, the Baltimore chapter will also be plugged in to a national network of entrepreneurs.
“Baltimore overall benefits from a larger ecosystem,” he said.
After attending the initial meeting, OpiaTalk founder Tom Popomaronis said he plans to get involved further with the group, and tell other entrepreneurs.
“It’s not every day that investors, entrepreneurs, and executives get to collectively collaborate on prospective investment opportunities,” he said. “That’s an extremely powerful force to be a part of, especially right here in Charm City.”
NextGen is looking to build a Baltimore chapter of 50-100 members, which will be led locally by a four-member board.