For immediate release
Nov. 29, 2023
HARTLAND, Vt. — The CORI Innovation Fund (CIF), an investment fund that supports rural tech entrepreneurs, today announced the first exit from its investment portfolio after selling its position in Disa Technologies, Inc. (Disa), a provider of sustainable clean technology for processing and liberation of natural resources.
The sale represents a 4x return on CIF’s initial investment in Disa, or a 103% annual return. CIF’s stake in Disa was part of CIF Fund I, a Qualified Opportunity Fund that invested in high-growth technology companies supporting job creation and revenue generation in small towns across the U.S.
“In 2021, the CORI Innovation Fund set out to demonstrate that investing in tech founders from small town America was positive for entrepreneurs, rural communities, and investors,” said Amy Butte, an advisor to CIF Fund I. “Even in a tough environment for early stage companies, Disa’s story shows the potential value to be found investing in rural tech startups.”
Disa’s pioneering High-Pressure Slurry Ablation (HPSA) technology can liberate a variety of geologic material including precious and industrial metals, hydrocarbons, and abandoned uranium mine material on-site at a lower cost than traditional methods. This allows for a reduction in transportation and overall costs and enables efficient environmental clean up of legacy mining sites.
The investment CIF made in Disa in 2021 allowed the company to expand its HPSA technology to commercial scale and led to significant follow-on investment.
“We were very pleased with the capital, guidance, and connections CIF provided to support our rapid growth over the past two years and are happy to have delivered the fund compelling returns in its first exit,” said Greyson Buckingham, Disa’s CEO and president.
The CORI Innovation Fund seeks attractive, technology-enabled operating startups located in rural areas that have historically been under-served by traditional venture capital institutions. The fund invests in early-stage technology businesses located in rural communities that are generating revenue and need capital to scale their growth plans. By investing in the best and most innovative rural tech entrepreneurs, the CORI Innovation Fund is enhancing economic growth and tech job creation in small communities across the country. In addition to CIF Fund I, it has also invested in three companies in its CIF Fund II while continuing to raise additional funding.
Disa’s growth, and the substantial return earned on CIF’s position in less than two years, is powerful validation that investors can find compelling, scalable tech opportunities in rural areas.
“Disa’s management team has made fantastic progress in developing their clean technology to provide solutions that make the mining industry more environmentally friendly and cost efficient,” said Jay Bockhaus, managing partner of the CORI Innovation Fund. “Disa serves as an example of the compelling and resourceful technology startups that are growing in America’s small towns, and I am thrilled that we were able to play a small part in providing capital for the company’s growth journey.”
About Disa Technologies, Inc.
Disa is dedicated to developing sustainable technology solutions for minerals processing and remediation applications that increase recoveries and reduce waste generation, thereby significantly lowering project costs and improving environmental outcomes. Separating valuable minerals from waste material is expensive and inefficient. Disa’s patented High-Pressure Slurry Ablation (HPSA) platform technology has the potential to offer better mineral liberation/separation efficiencies and unit economics than any other commercial technology. Since its founding, Disa has established a robust intellectual property portfolio, developed HPSA technology at commercial scale, and created a strong foundation for future growth. For more information visit www.disausa.com.
About the CORI Innovation Fund
The CORI Innovation Fund (CIF) invests in scalable technology startups in the United States to enhance economic growth and job creation in small communities. CIF seeks out attractive technology-enabled operating businesses in rural geographies that are under-served by traditional venture capital institutions and identifies, funds, and supports the best tech entrepreneurs American small towns have to offer. For more information visit www.corifund.com.
About the Center on Rural Innovation
The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) is a national nonprofit committed to advancing economic prosperity in rural America through the creation of inclusive tech economy ecosystems that support scalable entrepreneurship and tech job creation. Established in 2017, CORI is at the heart of a dynamic social enterprise focused on closing the rural opportunity gap. To maximize all possible resources to address this critical problem, the organization partners with a taxable nonprofit, Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI), and a seed fund, CORI Innovation Fund (CIF), focused on early-stage technology companies located in rural areas. For more information visit www.ruralinnovation.us.
Contact: Austin Danforth
Center on Rural Innovation (CORI)