Jeff Stewart, an entrepreneur who has founded several technology companies, is starting a fund to grow early-stage businesses developed by faculty, alumni and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
Stewart, currently the chief executive office and co-founder of Lenddo, a New York City technology company, is an alumnus of Rensselaer, a private engineering and research university. He began the fund in September and says the first investment could be come by the end of the year.
“I believe that great technology company have great teams and I’ve been incredibly impressed by the technical talent and the talent in general coming out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,” Stewart says. “By focusing on that you can get superior startups.”
It’s unclear exactly how much the fund plans to invest, but Stewart anticipates investments in startups will range anywhere between $250,000 and $2.5 million.
Investments will not be geographically limited to any area, he says. The fund will have a syndicate structure, meaning alumni and others can contribute to any investment.
Stewart was named one of Rensselaer’s entrepreneurs of the year for his part in co-founding Mimeo.com, a digital content distribution service. He visited Troy on Tuesday to participate in a panel on angel investment for Rensselaer’s startup showcase.
During the event, he gave some insight into the types of startups he works with as an angel investor.
Stewart told the audience he selects early-stage companies based on the dynamics of its management team. Stewart, who has both been an angel investor and a funding recipient, says he’s looking to invest in companies with great potential and a technology element.