The Hudson Valley Startup Fund, started in March to invest in local small business, made its first investment earlier this month, to the Newburgh-based Eco Shrimp Garden LLC.
HV Startup Fund announced on August 3 that it would invest up to $175,000 in the shrimp garden, which operates out of a former mattress factory in a historical district of Newburgh.
The investment was approved by HV Startup Fund fund members following a process that included an initial screening, pitch and due diligence.
In a feature on Eco Shrimp Garden published by the Business Journal in May, the garden’s founder Jean Claude Frajmund said he planned to expand within the 30,000-square-foot space he currently operates out of on William Street. Frajmund currently produces about 350 pounds of fresh shrimp per week in saltwater tanks in the basement of the factory space. With expansion, Frajmund told the Business Journal in May he could ramp production to meet increased demand.
Eco Shrimp Garden, founded in 2015, currently sells its product at the Greenmarket in Manhattan. The shrimp is never frozen and is grown sustainably—free of chemicals, hormones and antibiotics.
“I’m thrilled to be able to grow a sustainable business in the Hudson Valley, and even better to be funded by local investors through the HV Startup Fund,” Frajmund said in a press release from the fund. “The fund process was helpful for me in developing my business and will be a great asset to other local entrepreneurs.”
The startup fund is member-managed, with 44 members. It is co-managed by Johnny LeHane, Paul Hakim, Chad Gomes, Noa Simons, and Tony DiMarco.
The funds target region for investment includes Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster and Greene counties. Entrepreneurs looking to be considered for investment can submit applications for through the HV Startup Fund page on the funding website Gust.