Ten years ago, when we formed Dundee Venture Capital, our mission was to invest early in the best technology entrepreneurs between the coasts, a region we call the Mighty Middle. Today, it is clear that what we set out to build, what we didn’t find as entrepreneurs building here, is needed. Part of our job is to be evangelists for what is happening in our region. While the Midwest’s ethos is to put our heads down and work, sometimes we need to appreciate how far we’ve come.
To that end, we are proud to share that we partnered with Crunchbase to publish America’s Mighty Middle a look at startup activity between the U.S. coasts over the past 10 years from 2010 to 2019. The data confirms what we are seeing on a daily basis. Regional venture investment grew nearly 4x over the decade, from $5.8B in 2010 to $20.2B in 2019. Late-stage investment and exit activity followed a similar trend: 26 funding rounds of $100M+ occurred in 2019 alone. Coastal funds are paying attention earlier: 104 coastal VC funds invested in 688 Mighty Middle companies at the seed stage from 2015-2019, compared to 27 funds investing in 205 companies the prior five years.
We are more bullish than ever on the opportunity to invest early in the best technology entrepreneurs in the Mighty Middle. When we look back at this decade from even further afield, it will be clear that the Midwest was just getting started.