November 30, 2016
Purdue student investment startup expands portfolio, looks to open second office
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After only one year in business, an investment company started by a group of students from the Purdue University Krannert School of Management has expanded its portfolio to include not only a hedge fund, but also real estate, venture capital, private equity and a consulting firm. In addition, the group is looking to hire interns as well as opening an office in Chicago in 2017.
Founded on Nov.19, 2015, Gold Sail Capital was the brainchild of 2016 Krannert graduate Paul Griggs. He serves as the company's chief executive officer.
"What I usually describe us as is an alternative asset manager," Griggs said. "That fully encompasses what we do."
Gold Sail recently hosted an educational session on alternative investments in Chicago.
"This session was simply one small step to introduce and establish our firm within the city," said Matt Garofalo, the company's chief operating and marketing officer. "We're aiming to open a Chicago office by late 2017."
After starting as a hedge fund, Gold Sail expanded its portfolio earlier this year into venture capital with Gold Sail Ventures and into real estate with Gold Sail Real Estate. So far, the ventures side of the firm has invested in Adrenture, a peer-to-peer outdoor equipment rental website, and will soon launch a seven-figure venture capital fund with the goal of assisting Purdue-based startups.
The groundwork for the company's real estate investments started around the same time the founders were raising capital for the hedge fund. Managing partner Stephen Toyra had developed a strong real estate background as he was growing up in Lafayette and had launched his own real estate brokerage firm as a college sophomore.
"We weren't expecting investors to come to us so quickly seeking real estate investments, but with Stephen's background, that's exactly what happened and we were prepared," Griggs said.
The company now has a real estate portfolio of more than $1.5 million, mostly consisting of single-family homes in Greater Lafayette. As of October, the company has been organizing a $20 million development split among properties in Lafayette and West Lafayette.
While the company has yet to acquire any outside businesses, the founders are exploring private equity options with Gold Sail Equities.
"It's a very capital intensive industry and the private equity side of our firm will take a more prominent role in the years to come," Griggs said. "So, for the time being, our consulting firm, Gold Sail Strategies, helps us identify and source potential private equity opportunities while adding value to local startups and small businesses."
The company has strong ties to Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator.
"The Foundry was helpful in the initial process of how to start our business," he said. "Now, they're helpful in the process of evaluating startups we're looking at as investment opportunities."
While the company is growing, founders agree they want to remain Midwest focused, particularly in the area of Greater Lafayette and West Lafayette.
"That's how important we view having a connection with this community and more specifically Purdue," Griggs said.
For more information about Gold Sail Capital go to www.goldsailcapital.com
About Purdue Foundry
The Purdue Foundry is an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship whose professionals help Purdue innovators create startups. Managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, the Purdue Foundry received the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year by the National Business Incubation Association for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Curt Slyder, 765-588-3342, email@example.com
Sources: Paul Griggs, 704-942-5437, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Garofalo, 502-552-6326, email@example.com
Stephen Toyra, 765-637-5815, firstname.lastname@example.org