It’s been almost 3 years since my last post on Seed Funds – figured it was time for a refresh.
As I talk to entrepreneurs, I am often asked about the best sources of seed funding.
In Boston over the past 15 years (in addition to a great core group of individual super-angels) there are now at least 8+ great institutional seed funds in Cambridge/Boston. I’ve worked directly with many of them and highly recommend these excellent active funds and partners:
- Founder Collective – Eric Paley & David Frankel
- Pillar – Jamie Goldstein
- One Way Ventures – Semyon Dukach
- The Engine – Katie Rae
- Avalon Partners – Brady Bohrmann & Rich Levendov
- Boston Seed – Nicole Stata
- NextView Ventures – Lee Hower
- Raptor Group – Jim Pallotta
One of the many benefits of working with institutional seed funds is that you avoid the negative signaling effect of taking seed funding from a venture firm. When most Series A/B venture firms invest in seed rounds – it’s usually either driven by a trusted relationship (entrepreneur who has made them money before) or they are essentially taking an option on the Series A.
Depending on the situation it can make sense to work with venture firms on a seed round. However, increasingly, my default advice to entrepreneurs with a new project (especially first timers) is to start with the institutional firms that specialize in seed funding (like those above) who generally invest < $1-2M in Seed and then take their pro-rata or step back a bit as you do Series A+. IMHO – ideal combo is often 1-2 super angels + 1 institutional seed. With all the usual caveats that each startup is unique and that bootstrapping/capital efficiency should ALWAYS be the desired path.