We are entrepreneurs ourselves. We have experienced both the challenges and rewards that come from starting, growing, and scaling businesses. We put that knowledge and perspective to work for the companies that choose to partner with us.
Founded in 2014 and investing as Cascade Angels Fund across five funds, we became Cascade Seed Fund in 2019 building on more than five years of early stage investing experience. Today we continue to seek out opportunities to work with amazing entrepreneurs in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Julie and Robert discuss the Cascade Seed Fund investment philosophy on PDX Executive Podcast.
Julie Harrelson, Managing Director
Julie Harrelson is a Managing Director of the Cascade Seed Fund and has over 30 years of experience as an investor, founder, sales executive and consultant. She launched Cascade Seed Fund with Robert Pease in 2019 after being founder of the five predecessor Cascade Angels Funds. Cascade is the first seed fund in Oregon founded outside the Portland metro area. She has been a seed stage investor since 2013 and founded her first enterprise at age 8.
Harrelson was previously a tech executive in multiple companies variously acquired by Earthlink, Time Warner and others. Following an exit from a telecommunications startup, Harrelson worked as a trusted advisor with regional entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, as well as leaders of massive change efforts in healthcare, education and energy before launching Cascade. As a serial entrepreneur, Harrelson brings experience and empathy learned in the school of hard knocks to all she meets.
“Many things motivated me to found a seed stage fund – a chance to be creative, success as measured by financial gains by diverse leaders and problem solvers, changing the innovation ecosystem of Oregon/PNW, scaling success with fair deals, sharing my lessons learned.”
“When raising a round, please do the same level of diligence on our fund as we are doing on your company. Think of us as business partners for the life of the business.”
“We are both exited entrepreneurs so we know your pain.”
Harrelson has jumped off a cliff in Iceland into the Hvita River and run sled dogs in Alaska.
Robert Pease, Managing Director
Robert Pease is a Managing Director of the Cascade Seed Fund and has over 20 years of experience as an investor, founder, operational executive, and consultant. He launched Cascade Seed Fund with Julie Harrelson in 2019 after being fund manager, investor, and venture partner to the five predecessor Cascade Angels Funds. He has led over 20 investments across the Cascade Funds and has been a seed stage investor since 2011.
Pease was previously CEO of marketing automation software company LoopFuse, Inc. (sold to Salesfusion, Inc., then acquired by SugarCRM, Inc.), Vice President of Marketing at CRM sofrware company Gist, Inc. (sold to Blackberry, Ltd.), and has held a variety of senior marketing and product roles in four other venture-backed enterprise technology startups. He began his career as a management consultant with Accenture’s Global Communications and Technology practice based in Washington, DC. He holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Georgia and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.
“Be serious about what you do, but don’t take yourself too seriously.”
“There is an inverse relationship between how long you take to introduce yourself in a meeting and the value you are going to add to that meeting.”
“This is not a question of is this a business. If you sell it for more than it costs you to make it, you have a business. This is about the investment case we have to build to justify making an investment in your business.”
“I don’t disagree with that.”
Pease is a ‘local legend’ according to Strava, logging 3000+ miles in one season on his mountain bike.
For more information, contact us.
44North Ventures LLC manages the Cascade Seed Fund under the leadership of Julie Harrelson and Robert Pease. 44North also serves as Fund Manager of Cascade Angels Fund V. The Fund Manager for the prior Cascade Angels Funds (2014-2017) was HGI under the leadership of Julie Harrelson.