February 17, 2016


Little Engine Ventures (LEV) was conceived by Daryl Starr in the spring of 2016 after some friends and family started asking what he was going to work on next. Starr has been a serial entrepreneur with a knack for combining conservative investment with creative problem solving.

“I have been an entrepreneur since childhood. When some older business owners started asking about investing with me I was humbled. I am honored to put ideas and capital to work as best I can.” – Daryl Starr, Founding Partner¬†& CEO.


Neil Banwart, Daryl Starr, Mikel Berger

Mikel Berger and Neil Banwart joined shortly after legal documents were finished. Berger and Starr have a 10 year history of working together. Berger’s software development firm, Delmar has experience working across various business stages, from early startup to large and mature manufacturing. Throughout these companies, scoping solutions to problems is a primary passion for him. Banwart joined LEV with high references from several partners. His background in finance, accounting and operational excellence in large corporate environments brings a unique perspective to our various companies.

Little Engine Ventures invests across a diverse set of small businesses. A brief summary of our activity is listed below:

Spring 2016 – Legal begins
August 1, 2016 – First closing with 7 partners
August 1, 2016 – LEV acquires share of Bird Dog (board seat)
August 11, 2016 – LEV acquires control of Spectrum Seed (board seats)
August 26, 2016 – LEV acquires share of Socio (formal advisor)
September 19, 2016 – LEV acquires share of SmartFile
October 27, 2016 – LEV acquires share of PrintWithMe
December 1, 2016 – LEV acquires share of CropZilla (board seat)
January 1, 2017 – LEV begins 2017 with 17 partners
January 10, 2017 – LEV acquires control of Tama Financial (board seats)
May 30, 2017 – LEV acquires Magic Glass (board seats)
June 30, 2017 – LEV acquires share of Cheddar (board seat)
July 27, 2017 – First Annual Meeting of LEV in Lafayette, IN – Learn More about LEV AGM
September 8, 2017 – Launch of Executive-on-Deck Program
January 1, 2018 – LEV begins 2018 with 21 partners
Feb 1, 2018 РLEV partners with Fountain Square Brewing (board seats)
Feb 16, 2018 – LEV acquires Recycle Guy
March 6, 2018 – LEV acquires control of Stable-N (Boden)


Our journey is still underway. If you would like to learn more, we welcome your contact.