New investment fund built to support HackerHouse


Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.

A second semester of The HackerHouse has come and gone with new startups and developments emerging from the historic Victorian house turned innovation hub in the Duck Pond neighborhood.

Founder and self-proclaimed “admiral” of the program Augi Lye said he and downtown developer Ken McGurn have created a new investment fund dedicated to qualified companies that come out of the HackerHouse.

Lye is calling it the Angel Fund, a step above the silver, gold and platinum investment options ranging from $500 to $10,000 shown on the HackerHouse website.

This fund is geared toward accredited investors, those whose net worth -- or joint net worth with a spouse -- exceeds $1 million.

Each HackerHouse company must go through an evaluation process to determine if it is qualified to receive these funds.

It’s a more exclusive, high-risk investment, said Lye, who is founder of Trendy Entertainment and ToneRite. “My goal is to raise 5 million bucks.”

The 2013 fall semester has given way to a music-based startup that Lye is particularly excited about: Liftoff. A mix between Kickstarter and Foursquare, Liftoff aims to help bands network and raise money for tours.

Lye said there will not be a spring semester program so he can take the time to fix the place up. HackerHouse will return in 2014 as a summer program.

He said he hopes the new investment fund will “finance some amazing companies that come out of HackerHouse and help them succeed.”

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