On the heels of smashing its fundraising goal, Firebrand Ventures has added a pair of new team members.
The Kansas City-based seed fund is welcoming Cincinnati venture capitalist Wendy Lea as an advisor and Kansas City startup vet Maranda Manning as fund associate, said managing director John Fein.
Lea brings a wealth of investment and business experience as well as a global network to Firebrand’s already impressive advisory board. She is now CEO of Cintrifuse, a public-private partnership organization that helps build the Cincinnati tech scene. Lea is also a board member of Techstars and several startups. In 2012 and 2013, Lea was recognized as a Women of Influence in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Lea joins a powerhouse advisory board at Firebrand. Techstars CEO David Cohen, Kansas City venture capitalist Keith Harrington, Brian McClendon, former Uber vice president of maps, and Next Coast Ventures co-founder Tom Ball each help Firebrand via its advisory board.
Manning previously worked with Fein while he served as managing director of the Techstars-led Sprint Accelerator where she led day-to-day operations of the program. Most recently Manning served as director of marketing for Kansas City-based tech startup SquareOffs.
”I’m very excited to be working with Maranda again and to welcome Wendy to our stellar advisory team,” Fein wrote in a company blog. “I look forward to the great things I know both will bring to the fund’s mission of investing in exceptional founders!”
Firebrand recently raised $17.7 million for tech ventures in the Midwest, exceeding its initial goal by about 250 percent.
The Firebrand Ventures fund will invest its $17.7 million in about 10 to 12 Midwest startups per year with an average check size of $200,000, Fein said. The fund’s portfolio currently includes 12 companies, including Super Dispatch, FitBark and Sickweather, which call the Kansas City metro home.