Steven B. Mercil
President and CEO, RAIN Source Capital
Steve Mercil is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of RAIN Source Capital, an organization that builds capacity for private equity investments by forming and managing a network of local, statewide, and multi-state angel funds. Under Mercil’s leadership, RAIN Source Capital has expanded from its predecessor organization, Minnesota Investment Network Corporation, into a regional and national organization recognized for its expertise in leveraging the power of angel investors.
Mercil is on the Board of Directors of the Angel Capital Association and the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. He is a pioneer in bringing angel investment opportunities, which have historically been clustered on the coasts, to the Central states and to the often-ignored rural areas of those states. He is currently spearheading efforts to set up regional investment networks of angel investors throughout the United States.
"Through RAIN Source Capital’s network of RAIN angel funds, we are unlocking the door to more angel investor dollars, expanded deal flow, and more experience for angel investors to tap into. The rewarding part of all of this is knowing that by helping investors make the best investment deals possible, we’re also helping companies and communities to grow."
In addition, Mercil often puts his keen understanding of the needs of entrepreneurs and emerging businesses to good use by playing an active role with portfolio companies. He has served as an advisor, a member of the Board of Directors, and even as CEO and CFO for selected companies. He has also championed an ambitious national fundraising campaign to increase RAIN Source Capital’s own Equity Fund from $7 million to $16 million.
Mercil established Minnesota Investment Network in 1998, which was expanded and reorganized into RAIN Source Capital, Inc. in 2005. Prior to that, he managed a state-sponsored venture fund for Minnesota Technology, Inc.
Mercil has a long history of serving as a catalyst for economic development in local communities. As director of economic development for the Crookston (Minn.) Development Authority and president of Crookston Jobs Inc., a private development corporation, he played a key role in attracting new business and helping existing businesses in the community expand in order to create or maintain jobs. He has kept that passion for local impact and personal involvement alive through his work with RAIN Source Capital, knowing that most angel investors prefer to invest in local ventures (no more than 150 miles away), so they can play an active role and monitor their investments.
RAIN Source Capital received the Vision 2000 Model of Excellence Award for Access to Capital from the Small Business Administration, and the Wachovia Excellence in Innovation Award from the National Community Capital Association (now called Opportunity Finance Network).
Mercil is a principle in the InvestAmerica NW, LLC, the General Partner of Invest Northwest, LP, which is a venture capital fund focused on middle market and later-stage companies located in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington.
He has a master’s degree in statistics and measurements and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Dakota.