We’re entrepreneurs too. We know what it’s like to be up at 3am obsessed about an idea. We’ve been operating and investing in early stage companies for almost 20 years (yes, we’re getting old). We use everything we’ve learned, everyone we know, every resource at our disposal and our well-earned startup “spidey senses” to help the amazing entrepreneurs build tomorrow’s great companies.
IN A NUTSHELL
Stage Focus: Early – and we mean it. Sometimes we back ideas on napkins and even ideas that haven’t even made it to the napkin stage yet. Sometimes we just launch companies with our own ideas. Most of the time, however, our first check comes during the Series A. Product in market, maybe some users and customers as well. We want to be the first institutional backer of your business so we can say we knew you when….
Sector Focus: A tight founding team that applies technology to the confluence of macro trends to create or disrupt a big market. We believe there’s a golden age of technology right now and we are all lucky to be living through it. There’s not a corner of the economy or any industry that will not be transformed by technology over the next ten years.
Geographic Focus: Mostly New York Metro because it’s the fastest growing market for innovation; we like to maximize our value to entrepreneurs by being nearby. We go to board meetings…yes…but it’s more about jumping on the subway and working the white board together. Having said that, we have ventured out occasionally (cheezy pun intended) and will invest anywhere our networks and great entrepreneurs take us but the bar is higher once you force Chip to get on a plane.
Investment Size: $100 thousand to $4 million depending on stage, sector, capital needs, our circadian rhythms on the day you ask, etc.
We invest in people first, second and third. People that inspire us and inspire those around them. People with the passion and obsession to see their visions through to the end no matter what the obstacle.
We back radical innovation, not incremental improvement. If you have a better photo sharing app or you’re looking to make a quick buck and flip your company we’re not the firm for you. If you’re attacking a big market and solving a big problem give us a call. If you think in terms of billions and not millions, give us a call. If your family and friends think you’re crazy for leaving that super high paying safe job to work 24/7 because you’re obsessed about what you want to do – give us a call.
If you love dogs and hate cats then give us a call. Actually you can call us if you like cats but just don’t bring one to our office – Brian’s allergic.
We work for our companies and hold ourselves accountable for getting things done. We’re helpful, not intrusive. The entrepreneurs we’ve backed have called us 3.14159265359 times for every 1 time we call them.
We are relentless seekers of truth and devout practitioners of intellectual honesty. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Life is too short.
We meet lots of companies and founders with ideas that aren’t companies yet. Some ring the startup tuning fork in our gut and we work on these with the founders. If we all believe we can build a great company together we invest and usually take a board seat. If only there were a more structured magic investment process formula but there isn’t.
By the way, we’re wrong all the time. It’s part of the gig. So if we say no it’s nothing personal and just know that we’ve been rejected many times before. Not everyone has the same vision of the future – and that’s ok.