Currently investing out of Fund I
7 investments with 3 exits, thus far
Where We Look
VC has right-sized, Global cash is seeking yields, Formation & early-stage is where wealth is created
Austin market ripe for more early-stage venture funding
Result of team’s long-standing UT & ATI relationships
Following ATI incubation process enhances the resources available to portfolio investments
Why Companies Want To Work With Us
We recognize that seeing early signs of greatness is hard, and nobody’s cracked how to do it reliably. That said, there are a few things we do look for: certain qualities of a founding team, an early product, and the right moment in a company’s life. We also focus on investing in areas where we think we can be helpful.
We strongly prefer to be the first money into a company. This isn’t so much a rational investment calculation (arguably there is less competition to write bigger, later checks) is just happens to be what we like. We make exceptions when there is some other good reason (an entrepreneur or company we just couldn’t resist).
Our overall focus is investing in companies that improve work — these can be individual-facing (not all “enterprise”) so long as they help a person be more productive, knowledgeable, or content at work. Of course they can also be services for businesses. We are focused on the following: data, technology platforms, media distribution, content discovery, networks & communities, human-computer interaction, and radically new organizational models, clean-energy, life sciences, medical devices. It’s a wide range.
A demo is 50 times more useful than slides. One is a description of a thing, the other is the thing itself. Product is our sustenance; feed us. We want you to spend your time refining your product, not preparing a deck.
We have an “anyone can say yes” policy. No, you don’t have to meet my other partners. We believe the best entrepreneurs and companies are polarizing. Our best investments might have been, originally, opposed by one or more of our partners. Teams are great at gathering information and surfacing wisdom, but terrible at making decisions. We believe in individual accountability — if anyone can say yes, then everyone feels the weight of making a decision.
If we decide we are going to invest, we often (but not always) go through a short cycle of working on our own view — probing for holes in our own thinking, asking the advice of our one friend who has been thinking about this industry for 10 years, understanding other approaches that have been tried (or are current competitors), and spending as much time as we can using the product. Many of the same kinds of things we find that entrepreneurs do in the early days of contemplating creating a new company.
Our Team’s Proven Results
Cumulative Years of Venture Experience