We invest in founders and products that are positioned to fundamentally change existing markets or create new markets. We typically invest very early at the seed or pre-seed stage. Our aim is to connect to and support founders and future founders before any capital has been raised.
The process of building and growing startups has changed significantly in the past decade. This new wave of innovation has resulted in companies going from idea to $1B+ companies in a matter of years. The way that companies are funded must also evolve with the demands required by modern entrepreneurs. New Stack Ventures was founded on the principle that both the "Startup Stack" and the "Funding Stack" has and will continue to evolve. The barriers to attain funding are coming down and we plan to build a community that can leverage this opportunity to create maximum value for entrepreneurs and investors.
We believe that unique, very early-stage, high-quality and high-volume deal-flow is necessary for success in venture. Nick has created and grown a listening audience of over 20k for his podcast, The Full Ratchet. The goal of the program is to interview VCs and super-angels on the fundraising process and keys to startup success. In the past year, Nick has found that the entrepreneurs interested in educating themselves on fundraising are often ahead of their peers. This has lead to a proprietary channel for deal-flow, in the form of high-quality and high-volume connections from the listening audience.
Team & Background:
We believe that we are stronger as a team than acting alone. We welcome investor questions and feedback, and want to build a community that helps our portfolio companies succeed.
- (Nick) I most recently worked for Danaher, a $50B+ market cap global conglomerate, in Product Management, Development, Breakthrough Innovation, M&A, and Market Strategy. This experience provided an opportunity to evaluate private companies from a large strategic acquirers' point of view. I also raised capital internally for organic innovation to fund the most disruptive innovation program in their history. I don't simply "like" or "dislike" a company as many investors do. I am committed to using a process of investment filters and criteria which identifies key sources of downside-risk. In the recent past, I have been working to educate myself on the best practices in startup investing. Through interviews with VCs and super-Angels at fullratchet.net I have learned a tremendous amount and have been fortunate to build some great relationships in the process. With a focus on exceptional founders, strong risk-reward profile and continuous improvement of the methodology, my aim is to spend time, effort and capital with the highest potential startups.
- (Jeff) I've worked 15+ yrs in the finance/options industry at Chicago Trading Company, as a Trader, Quant (primarily),Technology Risk Manager, and now Managing Partner of CTC Ventures. My experience set is deeply-rooted in an appreciation for technology, risk management, and quantitative modeling which I aim to apply to angel investing wherever possible. The last 3+ years has included a deep dive into the world of angel investing as I have made 50+ startup investments and accelerated the learning-curve through deal experience. My 1st offline angel investment was in very early stage pre-revenue Popular Pays which 5 months later was admitted to Y-Combinator (Winter 2015) and subsequently raised $1.5MM+ w/ significant $ARR and strong upward trajectory. These investments, combined w/ tremendous interest in the future-state of technology, markets, and human behavior has led me to pursue a more modern approach toward angel investing via Syndicates, which can better leverage my experience-set to get great entrepreneurs the funding they need.
We aim to systematically evaluate companies for their Team, Traction, Market Size, and Idea in that order. We are early stage investors and look to strike a balance between traction and a favorable valuation. We look for startups that meet one or more of the following criteria:
-IoT / Smart Hardware / Connected Devices
-Founded in the Midwest
While Jeff works at CTC (Managing Partner @ CTC Ventures), none of these investments are endorsed by or associated with CTC in any way whatsoever.
Understand that startup investing is incredibly risky, illiquid, and highly cyclical. You should never allocate more than 2-3% of your assets to this space and you should only invest what you are willing to lose in its entirety. In the best of circumstances, it is likely that the returns will resemble a power law distribution... meaning 1 deal in a portfolio of 30+ may have more $ gains than every other company combined. With this in mind, we observe that the best angels make small bets in a large number of startups rather than a large bet on 1 or 2. Liquidity for even the best investments may be 10+ years out or in some cases never.
Nick will syndicate all direct investments where the founders are willing to offer a significant allocation ($100k+). We will periodically invest separately via angel groups or online platforms.
Jeff is a Managing Partner at CTC Ventures, which has a different FinTech+ focus and separate dealflow then New Stack Ventures.