BAKERSFIELD, CA / ACCESSWIRE / November 8, 2021 / Valley Strong Credit Union has committed $ 1.5 million to the upcoming Kern Venture Group (KVG) fund to support investments in the Central Valley. The money will be used to create a $ 10 million fund to target startup investments in start-up companies looking to turn breakthrough ideas into disruptive businesses.
Through its own investment arm, Valley Strong Ventures, LLC, would become a general partner, joining eight other entities that also contributed to the fund.
âWe are excited to make this investment in our region as it fulfills our mission to ‘help people and communities thrive,’ said Nick Ambrosini, president / CEO of Valley Strong. “Combined with our current investments in workforce training, energy perseverance and the B3K Prosperity Initiative (a regional public-private collaboration that articulates a shared strategic vision and investment plan for growth and inclusion in Kern County), we see a brighter future for our communities. “
Kern Venture Group was founded in 2018 by David Higdon and John-Paul Lake, two men with deep roots in Kern County with extensive experience and expertise in business and bringing cutting edge ideas to fruition. By providing access to capital, KVG hopes to stimulate new business creation and survival rates in the Central Valley and provide investors with an attractive return, according to its founders.
âThe partnership with Valley Strong is a perfect fit for KVG because of our shared commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Central Valley,â said Lake.
This is not their first adventure in entrepreneurship. The group began investing in startups in 2019 from its first fund, a $ 2.15 million fund aimed at companies located in Kern or founded by Kern entrepreneurs or who have a product or service that will have a positive impact on the region. Two investments in the first fund went to local companies, Vinergy and Mill It, which raised nearly $ 3 million in additional capital from other investors while successfully increasing their income.
âOur research found that entrepreneurs in Kern County struggle to sustain growth and the creation of quality jobs compared to comparable regions. One of the main reasons is the lack of some basic ecosystem supports, including connections with investors with patient capital, âsaid Marek Gootman, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution who led the B3K Prosperity initiative. . “This type of fund is a proven strategy for boosting business dynamism and more inclusive results, especially with KVG dedicating a portion to minority and women founders.”
This is Valley Strong Ventures’ first investment partnership with community stakeholders. Formed in 2020, its goal is to leverage members’ deposits to bring greater benefits and improve their financial situation.
About Valley Strong Credit Union
Valley Strong Credit Union operates 27 branches, serving over 210,000 people, with approximately $ 3.5 billion in assets. It remains one of the largest financial institutions headquartered in the San Joaquin Valley.
About Kern Venture Group
Kern Venture Group is the premier Bakersfield-based seed venture capital fund. She currently manages a portfolio of over 20 startups with an investment thesis focused on supporting an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Central Valley.
THE SOURCE: Caisse populaire de la VallÃ©e
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