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Thursday July 24, 2014
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Capital Partnership

 

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The generation gap between the Turners also manifests itself in the changing nature of the thirty-two entities the fund has invested in since its inception. In the fund's early years, Nub invested in a number of manufacturing enterprises (including circuit board manufacturer Lectronics, now Saline Lectronics) and some educational projects (such as an experiential learning program called Experiencia). "The ideal investment for me personally, because of my past experience, would be to get involved in a company that makes a widget, like GT Products," Nub says. "It wouldn't have to be automotive, but I would have a better feel for something like that."

These days the fund's focus has shifted toward retail and tech start-ups. Under Matt's tenure the fund invested in bubble tea chain Bubble Island, which the fund's vice president of operations, David Lin, founded in 2002. Lin originally met Matt while raising money for Bubble Island, and interned with the fund before taking a staff position in 2008.

In 2011 Lin founded what has become the fund's star investment: FlockTag, a digital customer loyalty card that dispenses promotions to repeat customers for any of numerous participating businesses. FlockTag drew national attention earlier this year when it raised $1 million--half of it from the Amherst Fund. "I don't think I would have been able to come up with the idea of FlockTag if I had not been here and exposed to all the deals I've seen here," Lin says. "There's such a diverse scope of work that you get exposed to."

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