New $20 million investment fund set to launch in Akron

If some local investors and their advisors are successful, Akron’s about to get a shot of vitamin C — C as in capital.

A new early stage investment fund promises to offer $20 million in capital for software startups and other fledgling, high-growth businesses in and around Akron.

Akron-based Acquire Investments, the Bounce Innovation Hub and JumpStart Inc. are launching a new fund, dubbed the Fusion Fund, and are working to gather investments.

The fund starts life with a little more than $4 million in investments and capital. Most of that is from the Acquire Investment Growth Fund, which is being merged into the new entity, Acquire founder and managing partner Bill Manby said. He’ll oversee the new fund’s investments as its founding partner, as he’s previously done with Acquire.

JumpStart will sit on the Fusion Fund’s investment advisory board and later might invest in the fund on its own, according to Manby.

“JumpStart is excited about the opportunity to serve as an official partner with Bounce, Acquire and the Fusion Fund, as we believe it will not only be a great resource for early stage entrepreneurs seeking capital, but it will also serve as a catalyst for Akron’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” JumpStart CEO Ray Leach said in an announcement of the new fund.

Fusion already has attracted some new investors.

“I’m an investor,” said Victoria Tifft, an entrepreneur-in-residence at Bounce, seasoned CEO and startup backer who has helped Wastebits and other Akron companies grow from seeds in recent years. She’s now managing director of Fusion Fund. Tifft, who was previously a partner and investor in the Acquire fund, said she’s had a long business relationship with Manby, working on investments and acquisitions.

“I’ve been working with Bill for years, and it was time for us to do something larger,” Tifft said.

The first task will be to raise money. Manby and Tifft said their goal is to get the fund’s assets to $10 million by mid-2019 and to its goal of $20 million by the end of next year.

“We’re going to be running fast and furious as soon as the news gets out there,” Tifft said a few days before the fund’s unveiling on Monday, Dec. 10.

While the fund is open to institutional investments, Manby and Tifft said they expect to raise most of its capital from individuals and families with high net worths.

Acquire Investments LLC
1611 Akron Peninsula Road, Suite A, Akron, OH 44313
(330) 475-1692
© 2020 Acquire Investments

Acquire Investments LLC
1611 Akron Peninsula Road, Suite A, Akron, OH 44313
(330) 475-1692
© 2020 Acquire Investments