Helping Startups Strike🔥

Matchstick Ventures

Our goal is to be the most impactful seed stage technology investor in the North and Rockies. We invest where innovative ideas, huge markets and, most importantly, ambitious and diverse founders strike. Matchstick exists to act as a catalyst for our founders, our partners, and our startup communities.

Matchstick Ventures

Our goal is to be the most impactful early-stage, technology investor in the North and Rockies. We invest where innovative ideas, huge markets and most importantly, ambitious and diverse founders strike. Matchstick exists to act as a catalyst for our founders, our partners, and our startup communities.
natty zola and ryan broshar matchstick ventures

Ryan Broshar

Partner
Minneapolis, MN

I am an entrepreneur at heart who has been working on startups for my entire career. I’ve been a founder, a community builder and now, an investor. I love scheming up huge, audacious ideas and turning them into reality. 

I started my first venture when I was 7 years old, harvesting and selling sweet corn door to door in my hometown in Iowa. While lucrative, I’ve since gone on to be the founder of multiple startups including University Guide; a university-based publication business that I started while at the University of Minnesota, and sold two years out of college. 

Following this sale, I moved to Boulder for my MBA at CU-Boulder. While there, I dug into the startup communities movement. The energy around tech and startups in Boulder acted as a catalyst for me to start something similar when I moved back to the Twin Cities in 2012. In short order, I co-founded Beta.MN, Twin Cities Startup Week and the Techstars Retail Accelerator w/ Target. These programs have had an outsized impact on the local startup community and continue to operate today. 

I’m a dreamer. I get energized thinking about what “could be,” then digging in to find ways to make it a reality. I’ll always challenge entrepreneurs to think bigger. And I know what it takes to drive big outcomes and the grind founders must go through to get there. 

I love founders from atypical backgrounds. I relate to diverse, humble founders who have a chip on their shoulder and identify as the “underdogs.” They assemble humble, hard-working teams obsessed with the problems they are solving. Real problems that are worth solving. 

When not working with founders, you’ll find me hanging with my wife, Molly, chasing around our three little children. As a former outdoor trip leader, I try to spend all my free time in the outdoors—biking, skiing, running, boating, hiking, mountaineering—you name it.

Bio

  • 3x Founder with 2 exits
  • Former Managing Director for 3 Techstars Retail Accelerator in partnership with Target programs
  • Investor in 60+ companies
  • Founder of Beta.mn and Twin Cities Startup Week

Natty Zola

Partner
Boulder, CO

In 2008, I left a lucrative career to start a company, everlater.com. On my journey, I taught myself how to code, built the product, raised two rounds of venture financing, went through two significant pivots, hired and fired teams, thrived, stumbled, thrived again and ultimately sold the company to AOL. I get what it's like and what it takes to start and scale a company. 

In 2015, I joined Techstars as Managing Director for the accelerator in Boulder. In that role, I discovered that I'm more passionate as coach than player. Since then, I've dedicated myself to helping other entrepreneurs succeed and have worked with over 200 founders directly as an investor, mentor and friend. I honor and respect the bravery of entrepreneurs and feel privileged to help on the amazing journey of making a dream a reality. I bring love, trust and loyalty to the teams I get to work with, helping them set and hit audacious goals. Friends and founders describe me as ambitious yet humble. Kind, supportive, loyal and earnest. A hard worker who’s not afraid to push and set high expectations. 

Because people are the most important thing, I spend a lot of time helping the entrepreneurs I work with become the best versions of themselves, so they can do their best work at the most important times. I'm also a details guy and enjoy helping with the product, operations, UX, and analytics of a business. 

I see my role as doing whatever I can to help a company get to product/market fit, set the early work cadence and culture and ultimately source and bring in the capital needed to scale. 

I'm deeply committed to the Colorado startup ecosystem. I'm from Boulder, and was supported on my entrepreneurial journey by so many people in this community (big thanks to the Techstars and Foundry Group leaders and all the mentors and founders I've been lucky to learn from). I believe it's my mission to continue helping it grow into the best place to start a company. 

When I’m not working, you can find me enjoying time outdoors. Living in Colorado, it feels so easy to do! My wife Pam and I stay busy teaching our young boys to bike and ski, going for a hike or bike commuting all over town.

Bio

  • Founder of everlater.com, sold to AOL in 2012
  • Managing Director for five Techstars Boulder accelerator programs and counting
  • Investor in 60+ companies
  • Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association board member

Our mission

At Matchstick, we're privileged to support the most curious, ambitious and humble entrepreneurs as they grow meaningful businesses. We provide connections, content and capital at the earliest stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

We invest in early-stage technology companies in rapidly growing yet under-served startup ecosystems. Matchstick exists as a catalyst for our founders, our partners, and our startup communities. We focus on:

  • Colorado and the broader Rockies region

  • Minnesota and the broader North region

  • Across the Techstars network

Our values

#WorkHardPlayHardGiveBack - life is short. We aim to do big, meaningful things while enjoying life and giving back to the communities who support us.

Family first - we take care of and prioritize our loved ones first. Of course this means our actual families but also our family of companies.

Do the right thing - life is full of tough decisions. We are always proud to look ourselves in the mirror.

Play the long game - we believe the most important thing is one's reputation. We strive to think beyond simple momentary optimization to what the longer term implications are of our actions.

4H - be happy, honest, hungry, and humble

Our mindset

We build collaborative relationships with the entrepreneurs we work with to help them succeed
Connections

We have 400+ of the most successful entrepreneurs, operators and corporate partners in our ecosystems as friends, mentors and investors in our fund. They're excited to help you with mentorship and connections.

Content

Having started multiple companies ourselves and invested in and mentored hundreds more, we have frameworks, principles and workshops to help you solve key problems as you scale your company.

Coaches

We believe companies can only grow if the leaders invest in understanding and growing themselves. We have a fantastic network of coaches to help you be the best version of yourself.

Colleagues

Having spent 10+ years in each of our ecosystems, we know lots of great candidates to fill open roles as you scale your company.

Co-investors

We have an extensive network of top-tier co-investors around the country whom we work with to support our companies' capital needs as they scale.

Capital

Fund II has given us $30M in new capital to invest in “seed phase” startups throughout our ecosystems. Our first check averages $500k while reserving significant capital to reinvest in future rounds.

Our friends and affiliations