Three Duke classmates have joined forces to bring more capital into the Southeast startup scene.
Greggory Bordes, Joe Mancini, and Nikin Shah, all graduates of The Fuqua School of Business, started North Carolina-based Front Porch Venture Partners after working across the country at various investing organizations, startups, and larger corporations.
Front Porch’s first fund, oversubscribed at $5 million, is what Bordes describes as a hybrid fund. By investing both into other ventures funds and directly into startups, the fund looks to “bring more people into the startup ecosystem from an investor perspective.”
“All three of us are very active angel investors and about three years ago we started talking about how for a lot of individuals, family offices, and accredited investors, it’s really hard to get diversified exposure in venture capital,” Bordes told Hypepotamus. “We thought maybe there’s something we could do to fix that.”
The inaugural fund has invested in 14 local ventures funds — several of which are in Atlanta — and 13 startups to date. Bordes said on the direct investing side, that number will likely grow to 15-20.
While not a lead investor, Bordes sees Front Porch as playing a key role as a “helpful connector” across the local venture ecosystem as the team looks for deal flow across stages and industry verticals.
Bordes, who hails from Kentucky, worked in New York and San Francisco before deciding to move back to the Research Triangle several years ago. Shah, currently co-CEO at Polyzen, brings his experience in the medical device and MedTech space, and Mancini previously worked at Google and is currently head of revenue operations at Digital Turbine.
While all three have family ties to the region, Bordes added that the fund is particularly dedicated to investing in the potential of Southeast ventures.
“[The Southeast] is where we want to allocate money over the next ten, twenty years. Venture capital creates jobs and adds pride to the community where these businesses are starting and growing,” added Bordes.
Photo Provided By Front Porch Venture Partners