Important News Regarding The Startup Factory

Well there goes that 45 day Digital Sabbatical . . .

It is with sad news that I share that tomorrow, Dave and I will announce that we are closing The Startup Factory.

Now for those of you that are not overly familiar with venture funds, what this means is that TSF will live for at least another 10 years as the 35 investments continue on their journey.  Dave and I will continue to be locked at the hip for quite a long time.  The close part means that we are not going to raise another fund to continue the work we have been on for over 4 years.

How do I feel about this?  Excited for what comes next for me, Dave, the Triangle/RTP metro and North Carolina.  I also have to be honest and share that I am a little sad too.

We have made unbelievable progress as one of the top tech ecosystems in the country. I know this as I get to speak all around the country in front of founders, investors and friends of the community.  The TSF accelerator was a major driver of our success.  But, the Triangle has matured to a point where a narrowly focused, seed investment fund is not as critical as it was 6 years ago when I brought LaunchBox here and subsequently launched TSF with Dave.

Though you/me may occasionally be saddened by that thought, I am focusing on what we were able to accomplish and the role we played to this point.  The TSF fund has great prospects for creating solid returns for our investors.  A few stats to take home with you:

  • > 60% of our companies raised capital after they left TSF (double the national average)
  • > 60 different investors including west coast VC’s participated in those rounds
  • total capital raised was close to $20M
  • 1/3 of our companies had women founders
  • 1/3 of our companies had minority founders
  • 1/3 of our companies came to NC from out of state (mostly NY and DC) for at least the 3 months of the program.

For those of you I have had the pleasure of connecting with, thanks for your support and participation in what makes up one of the most richly connected ecosystems in the country.  We could not have done this without the support of many of you who volunteered your time to coach, mentor, advise our founders.

I am not done helping this metro, region and state achieve its potential as one of the most entrepreneurial in the country.  I have been on a 6 year sprint and will now take a little time to figure out how I can make the biggest impact and have fun at the same time.

Until then . . . . . . .


Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

3 comments On Important News Regarding The Startup Factory

  • You, Dave, and the TSF crew had an impact well beyond the Triangle Chris and you’ve helped so many people to bring their dreams to life. We chose to close our accelerator in DC a couple of years ago and it was also bitter sweet for our team at Fortify. Congratulations on a job well done! Best of luck in your next chapter(s)!

  • Congrats on the great record you are leaving behind you. Thanks for the help and suggestions you gave to me. When one thing ends, another begins. I can only think that your next project will as exciting as this one has been. The best to you.

  • The next door will open. You’re doing important work!

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