Richland fund wants to back local startup companies financially

Fuse

RICHLAND, Wash. — Local businesses can get an extra financial boost through a recently-launched fund in Richland.

Fuse – located in the Parkway – offers a co-working space and other resources for entrepreneurs. The latest endeavor – Fuse Fund.

“Fuse is intended to provide resources to startups, and the co-working space is part of this along with the training, education, mentorship and Launch Weekend,” said Marty Conger, a managing partner of Fuse Advisors LLC. “The last leg of that stool was capital.”

The goal of the Fuse Fund board is to raise at least 2 million dollars from qualified investors to help local businesses hit the ground running. Right now, they have about a million and a half dollars worth of commitments.

The fund was officially launched in 2018, but Conger said the fund really started to come together last year. The board accepted their first commitments from private investors in August of 2019.

Since its formation, the board has heard from six or seven interested companies. Four of those businesses have pitched ideas, and two have been officially chosen for investments so far – one based out of Richland and one out of Kennewick.

Conger said he’s been pleased with how the process has gone so far and is looking forward to helping more businesses.

“You see people that have moved here for quality of life from Seattle and other areas where there are more venture capitalists,” he said. “They’re really happy to come here and see these resources with Fuse and see the confidence that we have in them by investing in them.”

The Fuse Fund is meant to serve businesses that are up and running and are already selling a product. Right now, the board isn’t considering entrepreneurs with just an idea or vision, but Conger said there are still ways they can get help through Fuse resources.

“Even if we’re not ready to invest in them, we might keep our eye on them,” he said. “We might help them in some other ways until they get to a position where we might be ready to invest in them.”

If you’re interested in investing or pitching your business, contact Marty Conger at conger.marty@gmail.com.

To learn more about the Fuse Fund, click here.

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