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5 Questions with Phil Ferneau, Borealis Ventures

The next best idea that could change the world may just come out of New Hampshire or northern New England. But getting that idea off the ground and into our lives is the challenge, especially if it’s hard to find early stage capital. This is where folks like Phil Ferneau and Borealis Ventures comes in and that’s who we meet in today’s Five Questions.


Phil Ferneau ~ Borealis Ventures

1. Borealis is particularly passionate about supporting New Hampshire businesses. What is it about the Granite State that drives you?

We founded Borealis on our first-hand knowledge of New Hampshire’s entrepreneurial potential and our confidence in its investment opportunities. Beyond that, this is where we live, raise our families, and contribute to our communities. While we have invested elsewhere, the Granite State is where our professional commitment to supporting exceptional entrepreneurs aligns with our personal convictions to make a difference by helping to build the state’s next generation of high-growth technology companies.

2. Where do you see the biggest opportunity for startups and entrepreneurial ventures in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire’s academic campuses and established technology companies have historically helped inspire and launch many of the state’s entrepreneurs. That remains true today with promising startups emerging from, for instance, the software and Internet infrastructure community around Manchester and Nashua, the Upper Valley’s bioengineering cluster, and innovative students and faculty at campuses across the state. More fundamentally, New Hampshire’s attractive business climate, quality of living, and wealth of social capital make the state a compelling place to build companies that can serve customers worldwide. In today’s connected global economy, innovation possesses the same inherent commercial opportunity when the eureka arises in New Hampshire as it does in larger metropolitan areas.

3. What are two or three of your latest New Hampshire-based ventures?

Our newest investment is Adored, which uses Apple’s iBeacon technology to help businesses and brands engage more effectively with their customers. Another recent investment is Builtr, a media intelligence company that we founded to serve the architecture, engineering, and construction professionals who create our built environment. We are also enthusiastic about the progress of our more developed NH investments, including Adimab (antibody discovery), Avitide (biopharmaceutical purification), DYN (Internet as a Service), and Newforma (project information management software).

4. Borealis plays a key role in business competitions like TechOut. How have these events helped the entrepreneurial community in New Hampshire?

Borealis has supported business competitions in New Hampshire from our earliest days – not just TechOut, but also Accelerate NH and Dartmouth Ventures in the past year alone. We believe such events provide invaluable opportunities not only to showcase emerging companies and help them refine their pitches and access the resources needed to build their businesses, but also more generally to rally the state’s entrepreneurial community and inspire new startups.

5. What’s next on the horizon for Borealis? How will you soon be making an even bigger impact in New Hampshire and beyond?

As New Hampshire’s leading early-stage investor over the past decade, we look forward to continuing to invest in the state’s most promising emerging technology startups. Beyond that, we are passionate about furthering the entrepreneurial infrastructure to attract, educate, connect, mentor, and otherwise nurture the state’s next generation of technology innovators and business builders. We are enthusiastic and active supporters of the organizations that are building real momentum in New Hampshire’s startup scene, including Alphaloft in Manchester and the Seacoast, the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network (DEN) in the Upper Valley, as well as the statewide Live Free and Start initiative.

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