Trio from TL Ventures launches new fund

Three former partners for TL Ventures have launched a new VC practice called Guggenheim Venture Partners.

Michael Burns, F. Javier Fernandez and Eric Rothfus co-founded the fund, which has a target of $150 million. The fund is affiliated with Chicago-based private equity investor Guggenheim Partners. The three partners will operate from offices in Philadelphia, Austin and Portland, Ore., to zero in on deals in the Mid-Atlantic, Southwest and Pacific Northwest.

“In these regional markets, we believe that there are a number of startup opportunities that are under-served,” says Burns. “Our strategy is to offer significant hands-on help to the entrepreneur as well as to raise the comfort level for national co-investors who find it difficult to invest in an early stage deal without a local partner.”

The VC unit will invest in early stage networking, communications and components companies. It will not be an open-ended vehicle for Guggenheim Partners, though Burns says the parent firm has made a significant, undisclosed committment. The fund will also be open to third-party investors. Burns expects the fund to invest between $3 million and $10 million in up to 15 companies

Guggenheim Partners announced the formation of its VC business in September. Burns, Fernandez and Rothfus left Philadelphia-based TL Ventures in late spring.

TL Ventures now has four managing directors, including its CFO. It is one of the Philadelphia area’s largest VC firms, with more than $1.4 billion under management. —Alastair Goldfisher