What is the Cultivator?
From Incubation to Exit
After raising capital start-ups are expected to grow and flourish, but investment alone isn’t enough to make a business succeed. Even the brightest and most determined entrepreneurs often need help cultivating their businesses for the greatest level of success.
At this time, the Cultivator Fund-2015 is closed. Please visit us again for further information about our next Fund.
That’s where we come in...
The Cultivator is a team of highly experienced Chicago business owners, investors, and experts. We provide entrepreneurs who desire to grow and to take their business to the next level with a capital investment, and when appropriate, with guidance and resources so they can realize and reach their potential faster.
The Cultivator invests business resources and capital in entrepreneurs that we truly believe have the drive, ingenuity, and determination to move their business forward. The Cultivator's investment and engagement approach is designed to help you and your team cultivate greater success.
The Cultivator Fund-2015 is closed. The Fund has invested primarily in early stage companies that have existing revenues and were seeking additional capital investment and when applicable, assistance in scaling and execution.
Why The Cultivator? – Our Roots
A Holistic Approach to Business Investment & Development. The Cultivator fills a gap in Chicago’s entrepreneurial marketplace.
- Beyond Incubation
- Beyond Acceleration
- Beyond Investment
- Apply Today
Chicago has a number of successful incubators that help entrepreneurs get their start-ups off the ground, but incubation is only the beginning. We help entrepreneurs go beyond the basics, providing engagement and insight on how to execute a successful business plan, grow your team, and cultivate better products and services.
Accelerators provide instruction and create opportunities for investment. While The Cultivator creates similar opportunities, we do not “graduate” companies after a few months or weeks of instruction. The Cultivator partners with growing businesses that can benefit from the accountabilities, measurement, experience, guidance, and investment of our Members.
The Cultivator has an active investment fund which we use to accelerate the growth and potential of companies that partner with us, but our investment goes beyond capital. We help business owners make the most of their resources, including capital, talent, and tech. Our holistic approach to business development enables entrepreneurs to do more with the resources they already have while considering new, viable alternatives when needed.
Founder Application - The Cultivator
Thank you for your interest and for applying for consideration by the Cultivator team for potential investment from the 2015 Cultivator Fund.
At this time, the Cultivator Fund-2015 is considering primarily early stage companies that have existing revenues but are seeking assistance in scaling and execution.
All executive summaries received by the 20th of the month will be considered for presentation at the member investment meeting held in the same month.
We accept promising companies that possess the passion, idea and business IQ to succeed.
Upon review of the application, founders will be notified if they will be invited to present at an investor meeting.
Please download your application below and return, along with any addendum or ancillary information to firstname.lastname@example.org
This application has 30 questions. We encourage you to be prepared with answers prior to beginning
the submission process.
How Do We Help Companies? With Capital Investment When Appropriate; With Active Assitance When We Can Help.
Improving Every Step of the Business Life Cycle
Most businesses at this stage strive to find funding, focus their business goals, and establish a foothold in their marketplace. The Cultivator helps companies in the pre-seed stage develop cohesive business plans and gain the necessary capital to move the company forward. And for those who have it all together, we assist in making connections when possible.
Building a customer base, marketing, and effective management of limited funds are key challenges during the start-up phase. When appropriate, the Managing Members of The Cultivator can provide coaching and guidance based upon their own experiences developing successful start-ups.
Sometimes, initial growth spurts may lead to challenges that new entrepreneurs need help navigating. The Cultivator can assist growing businesses take an objective view of their expansion from the inside out, focusing on strong management, appropriate allocation of funds, and assistance in seeking further capital.
Established companies have a tendency to sit on their successes and lose sight of their larger goals and vision. With executive coaching and additional investment, The Cultivator helps established businesses push their goals to the next level.
Expanding into unfamiliar territory can feel like starting over from scratch. The Cultivator’s breadth of experience and business acumen helps entrepreneurs grow their business with fewer pitfalls, better support, and greater confidence.
Mature businesses constantly struggle to remain relevant, always pushing to keep their heads above the competition. Utilizing the best business resources in Chicago, The Cultivator identifies problem areas in mature businesses and helps entrepreneurs identify innovative ways to take their business to the next level.
The Cultivator helps business owners who are ready to exit get a proper valuation of their company and find buyers who will either take the business in a desirable new direction or continue the legacy that you have set in place.
Have what it takes to join our Business Cultivator?
Whether your business is just starting to get off the ground, or getting traction and beginning to accelerate and now you require further investment. The Cultivator has the access to capital, resources, experience, and know-how to assist Chicago business owners through all stages of their growth. The Cultivator Fund provides capital to companies that meet our investment objectives, and the Cultivator Members can provide expertise and connections as needed.
The Cultivator is always on the lookout for experienced Chicago business men and women to join our team of Managing Members. If you’re looking for new ways to invest your years of experience and savvy in budding entrepreneurs, learn what it takes to become a part of The Cultivator.
The Cultivator relies upon the vetted, top-level services of a number of business resources such as patent attorneys, marketing agencies, accountants, and IT firms, all of whom play an essential role in the development and success of Chicago start-ups. If you believe that your business has a unique service to offer The Cultivator’s portfolio of partners, contact us to be considered as a preferred business supplier.
The Cultivator investment fund devotes capital to some of the most promising young businesses in Chicago and beyond. We are always willing to explore opportunities with independent investors interested in joining our venture capital pursuits. Current investment members include the Members of The Cultivator and the Chicago ArchAngels.