Providence venture capital startup targets Boston-to-New York corridor

PROVIDENCE – The small but growing community of local firms and organizations devoted to supporting promising entrepreneurs has a new member: Octane Venture Labs.

The fledgling Providence-based firm announced this week it is launching a “pre-seed” venture capital fund to invest in startup businesses, with a focus on the corridor between Boston and New York, including Rhode Island.

Octane Venture Labs is the brainchild of Dan Rossignol, a transplant from California’s vaunted Silicon Valley. He runs the firm in coordination with Danaus Chang, his general partner in California.

Rossignol would not disclose how much the firm has raised so far, but he said there are initial commitments from both institutional investors and high net-worth individuals. More details should be forthcoming in October, he said.

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Octane Venture Labs initial focus is on “technology opportunistic” ventures, Rossignol said, adding the firm is working with several entrepreneurs in the fields of financial technology, or “fintech;” cloud computing; software-as-service; and “clean” technology.

The business model is to provide investments from $100,000 up to $1.2 million to startups, seeking to take advantage of the “undercapitalized” corridor for entrepreneurs between Boston and New York, he said.

That includes tapping into the pool of entrepreneurial talent clustered around Rhode Island colleges and universities.

“We’re an advisory firm. We work with startups and require limited partners to fund the fund,” he explained. “We’re now working with six companies that we have started to vet out. The lion’s share is from Rhode Island.”

Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Blake@PBN.com

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