Early-stage entrepreneurs in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest have a new source of funding available.
Cascade Angels Fund today announced that it is rebranding as Cascade Seed Fund, which just raised $5.4 million for an initial close of its sixth fund.
The Bend, Ore.-based firm aims to make an average investment of $250,000 in young tech and consumer product startups. With the rebrand, Cascade is positioning itself more like a traditional venture fund, investing over a three-year period. It’s managed by 44NorthVentures, which is led by Cascade Angels Fund co-founders Robert Pease and Julie Harrelson.
“We invest in overlooked entrepreneurs: market disruptors, minorities, and those located outside major metropolitan centers and in rural communities,” Harrelson said in a statement. “This fund and our new name are building upon six years of seed stage investing and we are excited to begin the next phase of our work.”
Investors in the sixth fund include individuals and groups such as Oregon Community Foundation and the State of Oregon.
Cascade has raised more than $12 million across its six funds and invested in 30 companies. The sixth is the group’s largest fund to date. Cascade’s portfolio includes startups such as Stabilitas; Amplion; ClassHero; Megh Computing; Talkoot; Red Duck; Rigado; and others. About a quarter of its companies are led by a female CEO.
Cascade also runs the Cascade Seed Fund Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholarship at Oregon State University.
Pease was previously CEO of LoopFuse, which was acquired by Salesfusion, and also was vice president of marketing at Gist, which was bought by Blackberry. Harrelson launched her own strategic management company in 2007 and sits on the boards of the Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator and the Board of Advisory Directors of the Central & Eastern Oregon Region of U.S. Bank National Association. She’s also a founding member of the Center for Women’s Leadership at Portland State University.