Why TEDCO launched a capital fund for investing in veteran-owned ventures

The fund made its first investment Tuesday in Federal Hill-based RedOwl Analytics. It's not a charity play.

Inside the Federal Hill offices of RedOwl Analytics.

(Photo courtesy of MDBizNews)

A new venture fund from TEDCO Capital Partners (TCP) is exclusively targeting an important group: veteran-owned businesses.
TCP says the fund is the first of its kind — ever.
The new Veterans’ Opportunity Fund (VOF) announced its first investment Tuesday in RedOwl Analytics of Federal Hill. The investment, of an undisclosed sum, is in the first of up to 20 companies TCP’s managing partner said he hopes to invest in. Each investment may be up to $10 million.
“We believe it’s a good investment because veterans are highly skilled, highly trained, focused on accomplishing the mission, have a lot of characteristics that make them very, very good managers,” said the managing partner, Christopher College.
College also pointed to research that suggests they might be better investments. A 2012 report found veterans were more versatile, with better leadership and teamwork skills, Forbes reported.
College said TCP started marketing the fund in January and has “a pipeline of about 40 companies” it is following. The fund was first announced in October. College said most of the VOF’s targets are in the healthcare, technology, business services and highly-specialized manufacturing sectors.
“There’s a lot of good veteran-owned companies in the mid-Atlantic,” College said.
RedOwl, a cybersecurity firm, is based in Baltimore, with an office in New York City. The company’s founders are graduates of West Point and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to TCP’s release.
“The support from VOF is important to us and we are very excited to see a fund with a focus on veterans, right here in Maryland,” RedOwl co-founder and CEO Guy Filippelli said in a release.
College couldn’t specify when the VOF would announce its next investment.
“We monitor all the companies that we’re seeing and our primary focus is creating the best investment for our partners,” he said. “We think that a fund focusing on vet management teams is going to have superior returns.”
TCP is a for-profit LLC affiliated with the state-backed TEDCO, which supports startup mentoring, networking and investment. The capital group also manages the Propel Baltimore Fund, which invests in startups located in or willing to move to Baltimore city.


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