Unicorns are mythical. Product-Market fit is real.
We love billion dollar ideas as much as the next guy. But we are not big fans of the “IPO or bust” philosophy. We would rather see entrepreneurs chase the less-mythical-but-still-rare product-market fit. If they build must-have products for sizeable markets, there is a happy outcome for all – even if it is a bit south of a billion dollars.
Mega-Funding brings headlines. It also brings unwanted side-effects.
We prefer capital efficient paths to product-market fit: because these lead to great outcomes for entrepreneurs and their supporters (us). The more capital in, the higher the bar to what constitutes a happy outcome –a side-effect to be avoided at all cost. Given the choice, we, like our entrepreneurs, prefer high ROI to headlines.
Technology is Sexy. Its applications are sexier.
While we would have loved to have been seed investors in Oculus-Rift and Instagram, we typically look for startups transforming traditional industries through technology. Solving real business problems – by applying technology to traditional industries like Transportation, Agriculture, Healthcare, Finance – will outlast today’s hot tech trend. It will also generate real revenue and eventually real M&A possibilities. Traditional businesses, after all, would much rather acquire disrupting technologies than be disrupted by them.
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and ages.
Mentors Fund partners are entrepreneurs (of all shapes, colors, and ages) looking to coach and fund passionate entrepreneurs (of all shapes, colors, and ages). We want smart, scrappy, young-at-heart, fiscally-responsible entrepreneurs who have a knack for persuading everyone – co-founders, employees, advisors, investors, partners, and most importantly, customers – to join their vision. There is no age limit – upper or lower – for the power of persuasion.