Opening Applications and Announcing $100M for Spearhead Founders
Update: Now on TechCrunch
Today, we’re opening applications for the fourth class of Spearhead—where founders get their first fund. Like past classes, founders receive $1M for their first fund and angel investing experience is not required.
But here’s what’s new:
- Top founders now receive up to $5M for a second fund—five founders have already received a second fund
- There’s $50M available for founders to make follow-ons in their breakout portfolio companies
- We’ve raised $100M to fund all this
$540M in Follow-Ons
Collectively, the 56 founders in Spearhead come from companies worth over $22B—including 8 unicorns. They’ve deployed $18M since they started investing in 2018.
It can take a decade or longer to see returns on these investments. But they’ve been investing long enough to see some early results: Their investments have raised over $540M in follow-ons from Sequoia, Founders Fund, Index, Sam Altman, Stripe and many other great investors.
See the new homepage for more information about the founders and their investments.
Just Say ‘No’ to Scout Programs
Spearhead is the antithesis of scout programs. VCs use scout programs to generate dealflow. Typically, all the capital comes from the venture firm, investments require the firm’s approval and follow-ons must come from the firm.
Founders in Spearhead get their own fund and can invite other investors—friends, family, VC firms, LPs—to invest in their fund. They’re not required to write investment memos or go through a heavy-handed approval process for each investment.
In a scout program, the founders work for VCs. In Spearhead, VCs work for founders, providing capital and mentorship to put them in the venture business.
You Can Only Learn by Investing
You can’t learn venture capital from lectures or ‘angel schools’—you must have capital. Founders learn by making investments and getting real-time feedback in private chats with mentors.
There is minimal programming because founders are busy running their own companies. They don’t have time for lectures or get-togethers, nor do they learn much from them.
Founders Backing Founders
Founders with capital are starting to replace early-stage venture capital. Many of the founders in Spearhead didn’t consider themselves angel investors before joining the program. But they have the empathy and experience of building their own companies.