Dealflow | July 9, 2018

Belle Michigan backs two Midwestern, female-founded firms

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, July 9 – Belle Michigan Impact Fund launched in March with a goal of raising $20 million to get more investment capital to Michigan and Midwestern female business owners. The fund has raised $5 million and invested in two companies: Troy, Mich.-based edtech company called Alchemy, which uses games to teach science and math skills, and Seeva Technologies, which makes cleaning fluids to keep snow, ice and mud off of cars and trucks.

  • Rebranding as impact… Belle Michigan is a Grosse Pointe Farms-based investment firm that raised its first fund, the $2.5 million Belle Michigan Fund LP, five years ago. Belle Impact Fund applies the same investment thesis: backing women-owned companies in tech, healthcare, manufacturing, mobility and automotives. Investing in women appears to be the fund’s main impact thesis, rather than the social impact of the companies themselves.
  • Shifting the venture capital bias… Carolyn Cassin, Michigan Women Forward CEO and Belle Impact Fund founder, told Crain’s Detroit that Belle Michigan is trying to tackle the “cultural bias in investing. It is longstanding and rampant.”