Activate Venture Partners Launches – Part II

Our new fund Activate Ventures II LP marks the latest in a series of six early-stage venture capital funds which I have co-managed from Bethlehem, PA.  Beginning with NEPA Venture Fund I, which closed in 1985, to the recent closing of Activate’s new fund, I have had the honor of managing, with my current and former partners, $300 million of committed capital.

Activate Ventures II LP represents the combination of the successor fund to my current fund, Originate Growth Fund LP, with Milestone Venture Partners V Digital Health LP.  Todd Petri and Ed Goodman co-founded Milestone and boast an enviable investment track record. Like me, they strive to be, and rightfully have earned the reputation as, supportive and diligent investment partners for entrepreneurs. I am thrilled to be partnering with Todd and Ed.

Activate’s partners have a long history of investing together. In the early 1980’s, when I lived in Boston, I made my very first investment as a venture investor in a company in which Ed Goodman’s firm at the time was also an investor.  In 2004, we partnered with Milestone on an investment in CareGain, Inc. of East Windsor, NJ, which provided a technology platform that enabled health plans to offer their clients consumer-directed health plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).  We exited CareGain successfully in 2006, and co-invested with Milestone multiple times since then. So, the fit between our two firms could not be better.

Activate Venture Partners is one of the most experienced early stage venture capital firms investing in high growth technology companies.  Our partners have collectively invested in close to 200 ventures. Both firms enjoy the backing of limited partners who have been supporting us from the very beginning and we are united by a shared investment philosophy given that we:

  • Focus on capital-efficient entrepreneurs and businesses;
  • Work hard to provide constructive and supportive counsel to management;
  • Target early investment rounds for our initial investments;
  • Value our long-standing relationships in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and metro New York high growth company communities
  • Commit ourselves to being responsive and diligent when introduced to prospective investment opportunities.

We seek to invest between $750,000 and $3,000,000 in our initial investment and we prefer to be the lead or co-lead investor.  Companies led by founders possessing significant domain expertise and a proven ability to close sales in their target industry fit our profile.

With our regional orientation, our experience extends to industry sectors prominent in the local economies and includes financial technologies and services, advanced materials and IT solutions.  We have been fortunate to have been an early investor in many of the area’s successful ventures including IQE plc, Innovative Solutions & Support, Visual Networks, UltraCision, Quadrant International and many others.  Healthcare, and specifically Digital Health, will continue to be a special point of emphasis for us based on our combined past investment success, which includes: Medidata Solutions, Access Health, Octagon Research Solutions, MapMyFitnessTabula Rasa HealthCareFSA StoreSkillSurvey, MedPage Today, Vitals, National Packaging Solutions, eHealth Technologies, the aforementioned CareGain, as well as many others in the portfolio which are growing in value.  As a result, we believe we are “sought-after” investment partners by entrepreneurs located both in and outside our targeted geography. As such, we may invest in attractive companies located outside of our target geography. 

As is the case with Todd and Ed and their earlier funds, I will continue to manage the Originate Growth Fund LP portfolio with my partners in that fund.  I have had the privilege and pleasure of investing in early stage companies for over three decades and I am remarkably fortunate to be able to continue to do what I love to do going forward with Activate.  There is nothing as exciting as helping hard-working and committed entrepreneurs realize their dreams!