Glades Capital unveils debut fund to back early-stage South Florida startups

Glades Capital has launched its inaugural fund that will invest in early-stage South Florida startups.

Glades Capital has launched its inaugural fund that will invest in early-stage South Florida startups. Glades Capital will make seed-stage investments of $50,000 to $250,000.


Glades Capital announced the launch of its first fund today, aimed at investing in early-stage tech startups in the South Florida ecosystem. Glades Capital seeks to deploy seed-stage investments of $50,000 to $250,000, with resources available for subsequent rounds. The firm was founded by Jim Ryan, a Florida-based entrepreneur and startup veteran who has provided capital investments and strategic guidance for regional companies over the last decade. “Our mission is to partner with extraordinary and innovative startups to build successful businesses and contribute to our South Florida regional economy,” Ryan explained.

Ryan is the founder of OutPLEX, an international company with more than 2,000 employees specializing in digital transformation at enterprise scale. He has been an investor with Miami Angels and Florida Funders, as well as an advisor to regional university startup accelerators. These include programs at Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, and Broward College. He was selected by the American Academy of Entrepreneurs and GrowFL to support Florida-based companies as a mentor. Ryan also received the American Dreamer Award in 2019 and was the keynote speaker for South Florida’s annual Entrepreneur Summit. He is a co-founder and board member of the Venture Mentoring Team. This not-for-profit organization works to train and certify executives as mentors, then matches them with promising entrepreneurs to provide ongoing guidance.

Complementing Jim on the firm’s leadership team is Managing Director Declan Ryan. Declan holds an MBA from Simon Business School at the University of Rochester. There, he served as President of Simon Entrepreneurs Association and graduated as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, working with several early-stage companies along the way. The Glades Capital team brings a wealth of knowledge and proven track records of helping companies achieve operational traction and further capitalization.

Commenting on the announcement, Jim Ryan said, “We’re excited to launch Glades Capital with a differentiated investment thesis for the region. We aim to put together a diversified portfolio of seed-stage startups, targeting between six to twelve investments over the next three years. My experiences helping startups for the past ten years have helped us build deep personal networks for exceptional deal flow. Our methods are designed to empower startups in the rapidly growing South Florida economy, and we intend to leverage our network and expertise to positively impact the region’s startup ecosystem.”

South Florida has grown to global prominence as a key market for tech entrepreneurship. Jim Ryan has worked hands-on with some of the most recognized startups in the area as an investor or mentor. The rapid growth in startup ventures has outpaced institutional capital in the region, and there is a market need for local early-round funders who can add value with operational expertise. Glades Capital’s combination of funding and mentorship will help regional startups navigate the challenges that face early-stage founders.

“With Glades Capital, we have the advantage of using our unique experiences to do something radically different,” said Ryan. “We are serving a very undersupplied start-up community in South Florida that requires early capital to help launch their businesses. We can provide the right level of support to the founders that we partner with. Investment is just the first step. Beyond that, our founders can expect guidance and support from experienced practitioners around the world and access to a unique network of operators, mentors, and capital resources.”

Ryan continues, “Why Glades? We’re headquartered in Parkland, where our backyard is the Everglades. This natural wonder is a perfect analogy for the startup ecosystem. There is so much beauty in the Everglades, but also danger. There are channels to navigate safe passage through the treacherous waters. Similarly, early-stage companies have boundless possibilities. But a wrong turn or a poor decision can take a startup underwater. Sharing experiences and best practices is our value add, helping the entrepreneurs we invest with to chart the best course for their companies.”

Entrepreneurs interested in applying for funding should inquire online at

About Glades Capital
Glades Capital LLC is a venture capital firm based in Parkland, Florida. Their mission is to invest in early-stage tech and tech-enabled startups in the South Florida region. Glades Capital helps firms in its portfolio navigate to success by providing deep expertise in growth, marketing, fundraising, connectivity, and operations. For more information, visit