Cayuga Venture Fund (“CVF”) is announcing the launch of Cayuga Venture Fund VI (“CVF VI”), with a target size of $100 million. CVF VI will build on CVF’s successful track record by focusing on the undercapitalized region of Upstate New York, as well as New York City and beyond. CVF VI will continue to look at companies across various sectors, with an eye to investing early with founders and entrepreneurs, and supporting them through their life cycle. CVF has been based in Ithaca, New York since 1995.
CVF’s successful strategy of focusing on opportunities originating in the intellectually rich area of Upstate New York will continue with CVF VI. With a highly educated population, as well as world-class higher education institutions, CVF VI will capitalize on CVF’s position as the area’s largest and most active venture capital investor. Startup activity in Ithaca specifically, and Upstate NY generally, has accelerated over the past decade. CVF’s investment has been a strong catalyst, in part, for this growth. CVF’s strong ties to Cornell University have given it a unique perspective on a diverse set of technologies and access to subject matter experts. Likewise, Cornell Tech in NYC is producing investible startups regularly, and CVF VI will look to use its Cornell connections to help those companies as they seek investment partners and capital.
“With over 20 years of venture investing behind us, we are excited to take our fund to a major milestone in terms of size and scope. Startup activity in our area is exploding, and we want to position CVF to be a key participant in the ecosystem,” said Phil Proujansky, founding partner at CVF.
CVF is also delighted to announce that A.J. Edwards will join the firm as a partner once CVF VI is closed. A.J. is the former Chief Investment Officer for Cornell University’s $7B endowment. A.J. has 25 years of institutional investing experience, which will broaden CVF’s investor exposure. A.J. will be full time with CVF and active in all aspects of the firm, including fund raising, deal vetting and portfolio company management. A.J. has a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut and an MSc in Mathematics from Fairfield University. A.J. is a CFA charter holder and teaches practitioner’s courses in asset management and investments at Cornell to both undergraduates and graduates. A.J. is also a Trustee and member of the Investment Advisory Committee for the Sciencenter in Ithaca.
“I am very excited to join CVF. Having known Phil, Zach and Jennifer for the last ten years, it was an easy decision to make,” said Edwards. “CVF has a great base of dedicated, long-term LPs, and we look forward to raising and successfully deploying CVF VI, generating strong returns and contributing to the economic development of the region.”
“The target size of CVF VI and the building out of our investment team are critical inflection points for CVF. We are truly dedicated to what we do – growing startups from the ground up with significant investment, hands on partnerships with management teams and successfully executing exits for our investors. We are delighted that A.J. is joining and look forward to a long and productive partnership,” said Zach Shulman, partner at CVF. — July 10, 2018