New investors announced for Cintrifuse

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - American Financial Group, Castellini Management Company, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, The Kroger Co., and Messer Financial Services are new investors in the Cintrifuse Early Stage Capital Fund I, LLC, a venture capital fund of funds which has now closed $51 million total.

"There's never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Greater Cincinnati," Cintrifuse CEO Jeff Weedman said. "This support demonstrates the enthusiasm and importance of providing more capital to the region."

The five companies join initial investors Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Duke Energy, The Procter & Gamble Co., the University of Cincinnati and Western & Southern Financial Group. Cintrifuse closed $40 million in December and an additional $11 million this week.

The Cintrifuse fund of funds is managed by Tim Schigel, founder and chairman of ShareThis, the world's largest sharing platform on the Web. Schigel was director of the Blue Chip Venture Company from 1998-2007.

"We continue to be met with great enthusiasm by the leaders of this community," Schigel said. "Their support is vital in the development of our innovation economy. And they don't just talk the talk; they back up their enthusiasm in a variety of ways, including investments in the fund of funds that allow us to engage some of the top venture capital funds in the country."

Cintrifuse will invest in regional and national early-stage venture capital funds with a focus on life sciences, consumer goods and services, technology and energy. Schigel said he expects to begin some of these investments later in the year.

The Cintrifuse fund is a for-profit fund operated by Cintrifuse Fund Management, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cintrifuse, a non-profit organization launched in July 2012 to enable a sustainable innovation ecosystem that allows Cincinnati to successfully compete globally for innovation-driven startup businesses and jobs.

“In recent years, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has stepped up its support for a variety of initiatives to grow the economic vibrancy of our region,” said President/CEO Kathryn E. Merchant. “Cintrifuse fills a gap in the spectrum of capital needed to grow local businesses that was identified in the 2010 Regional Indicators Report co-sponsored by Agenda 360 and Vision 2015.”

Led by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Agenda 360 is Cincinnati’s regional action plan. Vision 2015, led by the Northern Kentucky Chamber, is a similar plan for Northern Kentucky.

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