IF Ventures Closes First Investment

IF Ventures, a program of Idea Foundry in partnership with Babst Calland, closed its first investment of more than $300,000 in one of the program’s inaugural cohort of companies.

The company receiving investment was one of five companies presented to a group of investors at the end of September 2022. The company remains in stealth mode while it leverages this investment along with other investments to rapidly grow its customer base and enter new markets. Additional investments are still being considered for the inaugural cohort.

IF Ventures operates as an investment group managed as a program of Idea Foundry, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization, backed by a grant from the Economic Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The goal of the program is to attract new investors and flow new capital to companies, ultimately triggering economic development through entrepreneurship and business growth. Companies included in the inaugural cohort were selected based on their investment readiness and chosen from more than 100 vetted opportunities.

“The investor interest and attraction of new investors exceeded our expectations at this early stage. We received many compliments from the investors about the model and the cohort of companies. One of the most promising actions that occurred was that our initial group of investors encouraged their peers to join and ultimately became part of this initial investment” stated Michael Matesic, CEO of Idea Foundry, Inc.

The partnership with Babst Calland added to the credibility of the model and the ease by which investors could participate. “Chris Farmakis and his team were so professional and contributed their expertise to ensure investors understood the structure of the investment and investment vehicle” added Matesic.

“Our driving goal was to develop an investment process that is efficient, scalable and predictable.  Our investors appreciated our process of evaluating the companies and putting forth only the best investment opportunities,” Farmakis said. “We vetted many good companies, but only those that met very specific criteria were presented to the prospective investors. This process reduces risk and saves investors time in having to do the vetting themselves.  We’ll continue to build on the foundation we’ve set for this first investment.”

A second cohort of companies will be brought before participating investors in February 2023.


IF Ventures is an angel investment program of Pittsburgh-based global investor Idea Foundry in partnership with law firm Babst Calland. Led by Mike Matesic, President and CEO of Idea Foundry and Chris Farmakis, shareholder and Board Chairman of Babst Calland, IF Ventures provides investment opportunities to raise capital to advance high potential, emerging growth stage companies.


Mike Matesic
President and CEO
Idea Foundry

Chris Farmakis
Shareholder, Board Chair
Babst Calland