Four business partners with roots in Minnesota, came together earlier this summer and announced the formation of a new venture firm called AMP Partners. Minnesota has seen a recent boost in startups and entrepreneurism spearheaded by JumpStart Inc and then quickly taken over by Minnesotans.
Darren Marhula, Brad England, Mark Donahoe and Chris Palm pooled their own money together from investment banking, Wall Street, and property management, Marhula told tech.mn in June. “We’re interested in the right entrepreneur with the right plan more than the exact market. We’re not exclusively focused on any one type of business, but definitely interested in local technology startups.”
Now as the summer season comes to a close and AMP’s been on the ground running for the last few months or so tech.mn checked back in with Marhula who echoed a main theme that we continually hear on our sneaker-strapped nationwide startup roadtrip. That theme, simply put is, valuations are too high.
In the follow-up interview Marhula said “we continue to be surprised by the unrealistically high valuation expectations by many entrepreneurs out there, which has prevented us from making more investments.”. So again in line with markets their size like St.Louis, Cincinnati and even Washington DC, entrepreneurs are pricing themselves out of an investment. This can be a lethally hard lesson to learn.
To date, AMP has invested into two companies, presumably with more modest self-worth. HomeVisor is an online Realtor referral service and the first to receive funding from AMP. Their second investment , BuyWafers.com sells silicon wafers and other materials for semi-conductors. That company will be launching shortly. AMP didn’t reveal how much money was in either deal.
It’s evident that AMP, like most investors, are looking for viable startups and businesses and they’re not holding a business plan competition. AMP is also seeing a lot of buzzword happy entrepreneurs who are the same entrepreneurs being poked fun at by Vooza in New York.
Marhula said: “Stop reading TechCrunch and focus on building your business; get your valuation expectations in check and when you come in to pitch your idea, we don’t want to hear about exits, pivots, and MVPs…we want to see results.”
AMP Partners would love to hear your realistic pitch, drop them a line here
Check out AMP here
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