Welcome

First Leaf Capital is an investment and venture capital firm based in Champaign, Illinois. We pursue a wide range of investment opportunities in Central Illinois and the Midwest. We do early-stage investments in startup companies, loans to new or established business owners, and acquisitions of entire businesses.

We have the flexibility to offer a range of investment structures including convertible notes, venture equity, venture debt, partnership interests, revenue-based financing, bridge notes, term loans, or business lines of credit.

We love hardworking entrepreneurs, products that solve substantive problems, hard-to-imitate advantages, lean market validation, and realistic goals. To the companies we back, we offer quick decisions, simple and fair terms, no fees, credible introductions to our favorite VC’s, strategic input from a winning founder, and all the encouragement we can send your way.

Team

Mark Aardsma is founding investor and Managing Partner of First Leaf Capital. He previously founded three startups, and led them to success as CEO. He is an advisor to companies and their leaders, and his investments have consistently outperformed the market by wide margins. In 2016 his book Investing With Purpose was published. More on Mark’s site.

Venus Walker handles accounting and administrative functions.

Submit Your Plan

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur seeking funding, you’re welcome to contact us at office@firstleafcapital.com. Feel free to attach existing pitch materials, if you have them, or simply send us a general message. We’ll reply letting you know our interest, and if applicable, what additional information we need.

If you have a business, private company stake, or other asset for sale, please contact us by phone or email.

News

First Leaf Capital at InvestMidwest 2018

First Leaf Capital Managing Partner Mark Aardsma will be returning to the #InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum in Kansas City MO, on March 28th and 29th. We’re looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting promising startups from our part of the country!

ATS Rentals Acquired By Lensrentals.com

I am excited to announce that ATS Rentals has been acquired by Lensrentals.

I started ATS Rentals to make gear rentals easy, affordable, and available to everyone. I couldn’t be more pleased to announce this sale to Lensrentals, an industry leader who shares those values.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Lensrentals will absorb the customers and operations from ATS Rentals into their Memphis facility. The ATS Rentals facility in Piper City, IL will close following a transition period.

I am deeply grateful to the many thousands of customers who made ATS Rentals a success. I am even more grateful to the staff and managers at ATS Rentals who did hard work, skilled work, and kind work — dedicating themselves to taking care of every customer.