Resonant Venture Partners is a venture capital firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan that makes seed stage investments in companies developing cloud infrastructure, software and services. Entrepreneurs in their own right, the managing directors partner with portfolio companies through challenging product, market and operational issues at the earliest phases. At the same time, Resonant maintains a top tier back office, a disciplined approach to venture investing and a high level of service to their limited partners.
Resonant invests in companies that have technologies essential to the backbone of the cloud infrastructure. The “cloud” is comprised of a vast array of hardware, software and communications platforms operating together to allow content and service providers to reach their customers. Cisco Systems has estimated that traffic in the cloud will quintuple by 2016 and the FCC estimates that the number of data-plan enabled smartphones will more than double in the same period. Demand for cloud based products and services continue to grow at an astonishing rate even as carriers scramble to maintain the existing capacity. This growth is accompanied by challenging engineering, management, social and economic problems. Resonant invests in companies with novel technologies that can add capabilities to the existing cloud infrastructure as well as those that improve pre-existing mission critical functions.
Michigan is a world leader in terms of investment in its research centers and yet has a shortage of venture capital firms investing in companies based here. The result is minimal competition for deals, lower valuations and ultimately a market premium of over 45% paid to investors in Midwest companies over comparable companies in markets such as California, Massachusetts and New York. The capital shortage, especially acute for IT companies has driven technologists to markets where capital is more readily available. Despite this fact, Michigan hosts many thousands of software/hardware engineers and over 2200 software companies including divisions of giants like Google, General Electric, Quicken, Compuware and Arbor Networks. Few are aware that the founders and CEOs of companies like Google, Sun Microsystems, Groupon, Adobe Photoshop, Skype, Craigslist, Twitter and Microsoft have Michigan roots. Other modern technology luminaries with Michigan roots include the father of the iPod and the co-founder of the World Wide Web. Resonant is determined to add the founders of its portfolio companies to this distinguished list of innovators.
Technology Oriented Management Team
The Resonant team combines 30 years of high-tech corporate and venture-backed startup experience with over 65 years of venture capital investing experience. Managing directors Michael Godwin and Jason Townsend are Michigan natives that have returned to Ann Arbor after illustrious Silicon Valley technology careers. Godwin worked with several venture-backed startups in Silicon Valley including notables WebCrawler, Excite and the Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA). IODA was named one of Fortune magazine’s 25 Breakout Companies for 2005, a “Rising Star” in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 for Silicon Valley and was acquired by Sony in June 2009. With Excite, he was part of the $6.7B Excite merger with AT&T/@Home – the largest transaction involving an internet company at the time. Townsend was a founding member of Intel’s Corporate Business Development Management team where he sold $30M worth of Intel silicon into a variety of technology sectors. He also served as CEO for three startups: Ikanos Power, Townsend Investments and Life Magnetics. Townsend was named to the Crain’s Detroit Business 2010 “40 Under 40” List. Godwin and Townsend each received an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business where they served as the managing directors of the Wolverine Venture Fund. They have now set their sights on transforming Michigan into an entrepreneurial center that rivals the likes of Boulder, Boston and Silicon Valley.