What is Spearhead?

Spearhead gives founders their first fund and helps them learn the craft of angel investing. Founders get capital, mentorship from leading angels and access to a community of elite alumni.

When can I apply?

Please sign up to be notified when we open applications for the 4th class of Spearhead. Applications for the 3rd class closed in Nov 2019.

Why should I apply?

Investing lets you monetize the advice you give other founders. You’ll get better at running you company after sitting on the other side of the table. And you’ll learn how to be a better operator from the other founders in your class.

We see entrepreneurship as a career that goes from founding startups to investing in them. You may start one or two companies over your career—but you can invest for a lifetime.

Who should apply?

You should be:

  • A current or past founder of a technology company with deep knowledge of your market; the typical founder has raised a Series A or later from notable VCs
  • Located in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York City or Boston, or their surrounding areas
  • Passionate about learning the craft of angel investing and helping other founders

We’re particularly interested in technical founders who have access to compelling early-stage companies due to their reputation and expertise.

What’s the time commitment?

The time commitment is about the same as the commitment of an independent board seat. There’s no pressure to invest. You can invest at your own pace and remain focused on your company. Most participants invest in companies they’re already helping.

How is Spearhead different from scout programs?

VC firms use scout programs to generate dealflow. All the capital comes from the firm, and investment decisions often require approval of the firm.

Spearhead puts you in the investing business with a fund that you control. You make your own investment decisions. You can also invite other investors—including venture firms—to invest in your fund.

Is Spearhead free to join?

Spearhead is free to join—there are no fees of any kind. If you are an accredited investor with enough capital, we will suggest you invest in your fund to align incentives.

Who is in Spearhead?

The first two classes of Spearhead include founders from 35 companies. Together, these companies are worth over $10B, and four of them are unicorns. The companies include Neuralink, OpenDoor, PillPack, Shippo, Rippling and Scale.

Who is on the Spearhead team?

Jeff Fagnan and Naval Ravikant founded Spearhead in January 2018 to democratize angel investing. The team also includes Brian Norgard and Jake Zeller. The mentors include Cyan Banister, David Sacks, Elad Gil, Keith Rabois, and Mike Maples. AngelList provides legal and back-office services for Spearhead funds.

What are the terms of this site?

Please see the Terms.


How many people will be selected?

Spearhead typically accepts 10-15 people in each class.

Do I need to be an accredited investor?

You do not need to be accredited to participate in Spearhead. If you are an accredited investor with enough capital, we will suggest you invest in your fund to align incentives.

Do I need investment experience?

You don’t need prior investing experience, but you should have access to high-quality, early-stage dealflow. We will teach you how to invest.

Can I have other jobs while participating in Spearhead?

You should have a full-time position as a founder of a company. There’s no pressure to invest. You can invest at your own pace and remain focused on your company. Most participants invest in companies they’re already helping.

Can I apply if I live outside the United States?

Spearhead is currently limited to Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, and their surrounding areas.

If I am already a scout for a VC firm, can I still apply?

Yes. If you are selected, we will ask for details on your scout program to see if it is compatible with Spearhead. You can also invite VC firms to invest in your Spearhead fund.

If I am not selected can I apply again?

If you are not selected for Class 3, you can apply to Class 4 in 2020.


What is the process after I apply?

We will review your application and, if you are a fit, we will invite you for an interview.

Will I need to travel for the interview?

No, we are conducting interviews via video conference.

When will I find out if I am accepted to Spearhead?

We will let you know if you have been accepted within approximately two weeks of your interview.

When will programming for Class 3 start?

Class 3 will start in January 2020.


How much capital do I receive?

Each founder starts with a tranche of $500K. After investing this amount, you will receive a second tranche of $500K, if you have adhered to the contract and investing guidelines.

What do I earn on the fund?

You earn 15% carry on your fund, which means you get 15% of the fund’s profit. For example, if you turn $1M into $5M, you earn $600K (15% of $4M).

Is the fund really mine?

Yes, you control the fund and make investment decisions.

Can I raise money from other sources?

You can invite other investors—for example, friends, family, institutions—to invest in your fund. They must be accredited investors.

What types of companies should I invest in?

Do I have to present my investments to an investment committee?

You are not required to report to an investment committee or write investment memos. Your fund is yours, and Spearhead does not weigh in on individual deals.

How often must I update Spearhead on the portfolio?

We will discuss your portfolio once a quarter—on the phone or in person.

Will my Spearhead investments be made public?

Your investments will not be made public unless you announce them publicly. The Spearhead team, Spearhead’s investors and any other investors in your fund will know about your investments and will be subject to non-disclosure agreements.

Can I invest in deals with other founders in my class?

We discourage you from co-investing with founders in your class unless you share domain expertise or you both know the team well.

Can I take advisory shares in companies where I invest?

In the rare case that you take advisory shares, they should generally be pledged to your fund.


What am I agreeing to by joining Spearhead?

You agree to the Spearhead contract. You also agree to not “cherry-pick,” which means that you will make all your tech investments from your Spearhead fund while it has capital.

Will I be listed publicly as a participant of Spearhead?

We may disclose our participants. We can make exceptions as needed.

How will I know if I met expectations for another tranche of funding?

The primary criteria is investing in high quality pre-seed and seed companies in your domain of expertise or in teams you know well. Your portfolio should have an average pre-money valuation below $10M.