Ludlow Ventures adds staff, starts raising 2nd fund

Ludlow Ventures has added two more people to its team as the venture capital firm is raising its second investment fund in downtown Detroit.

The 3-year-old VC makes early investments in startups in the digital, technology and Internet markets. Its first fund was self-funded by Jonathon Triest and his family. It is now in the midst of raising its second fund and has brought on a new partner, Sandy Kronenberg, and an associate, Brett DeMarrais, to help deal with the growth.

Ludlow Ventures
 is based out of the M@dison Building and has close to 40 startups in its portfolio. Of those nearly 40 companies, about 15 of them received seed capital from the second investment fund. Also, five of the VC's portfolio companies are based in downtown Detroit and that number is growing.

"We're always looking for Detroit companies," Triest says.

Among its local investments are UpTo (a social media calendar app) and Quikly, an Internet marketing startup. Ludlow Ventures was also the first investor in Chalkfly, a startup that is developing a new formula for selling office/school supplies online that combines both ease and customer service with a philanthropic component.
 
"The culture at Chalkfly is one of the best I have seen at a startup," Triest says.

All of those Detroit-based companies are in the M@dison Building. Triest credits the development of the tech hub over its first two years as a big reason why his company is making an increasing number of investments in its own backyard.

"As time has gone on our deal flow has improved significantly," Triest says. "There are a lot of great opportunities out there."

Source: Jonathon Triest, managing partner with Ludlow Ventures
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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