Back to Blog August 28, 2014 in

Venture Fellowship prepares Adrian Fortino for career on other side of table

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adrian fortinoFormer entrepreneur Adrian Fortino is nearing the end of his MVCA Venture Fellowship, but after leading the venture capital funds at Invest Detroit, First Step Fund (FSF) and Detroit Innovate (DI), he says there’s one challenge he’s found common to both VCs and entrepreneurs: fundraising.  “I spent several years as a venture backed entrepreneur prior to coming to Invest Detroit so I was very familiar with the industry. While we’ve had a successful launch for Detroit Innovate, I’ve found that fundraising for a venture fund can be just as challenging as it was when I was running my companies.”

Fortino has done over 20 deals during the two years of his MVCA Venture Fellowship. He says that while “that is way too many ‘children’ to have a favorite; they are all my favorites!”, a couple early ones stand out given the Fund’s position in the capital commitments. “We were one of the first two investors in Seelio, an online portfolio platform for college students, and it was my first deal. I worked extensively with Moses (Lee, CEO) and team from initial product launch to scale up through the acquisition negotiations and to a successful exit. We have been in a similar position for memloom, a storytelling platform which allows audio, video, images and narrative for seamless creation. I helped the company through the initial product development and product launch. The system is now getting a great deal of traction with organizations and users.”

Fortino plans to continue to be an active member of the Michigan venture capital community post-Fellowship.  “I loved being an entrepreneur and building companies as a founder, but I found the variety of working with several founders extremely rewarding.”