It’s often suggested that people who’ve previously founded startups are disproportionately successful with their next companies. For example, in his study of 195 billion-dollar startups, Ali Tamaseb of Data Collective (DCVC) found that nearly 60% of these unicorns were started by repeat entrepreneurs.
To better understand how experience affects the likelihood of a startup’s success, we dug into the AngelList syndicate and profile data. We defined success for a seed investment broadly: a successful seed investment goes on to raise an equity round or is currently marked on our books as having increased in value (including companies that have a positive exit). Filtering down to just those seed deals that have had at least two years to season, we see that companies founded by a team with both founder and investor experience are significantly more successful than the baseline.
The data suggests that having started a company and having invested in companies are both indicators of future success—but the combination of having both experiences on the founding team has an even greater impact. When founders bring their operational expertise and investors bring their breadth of experience, these strategic and tactical strengths combine to create a startup superpower.
That’s exactly why Spearhead was founded and we’re proud to announce that Spearhead is opening applications for its third class today—to give founders their own fund so they can learn the craft of angel investing, deepen their experience and increase their chances of future success. Here’s what Spearhead shared today about this opportunity:
Spearhead opens applications for $1M angel funds
Founders can also apply for a $10M fund when they graduate
Today, we’re opening applications for the third class of Spearhead—where founders get their own funds, so they can learn the craft of angel investing.
Founders backing founders
We’re getting bigger in this class: Founders now get $1M angel funds and can also apply for a $10M fund at the end of the program.
We’re targeting current or past founders in four locations: Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York City and Boston. We’re especially interested in technical founders in the markets listed at the bottom of this post.
Two classes, 160 investments so far
We accepted 38 founders across the first two classes. They came from companies like PillPack, OpenDoor, Neuralink, Shippo, Rippling, and Scale. Together, these companies are worth over $10B—four of the companies are unicorns, and half of them are worth more than $100M.
From founding startups to investing in them
Startups want to raise money from founders because they have great advice, great networks and they know their markets better than anyone.
Angel investing should be accessible to anyone who wants to put in the work, not just people with money and connections. We see entrepreneurship as a career that goes from founding startups to investing in them. Apply now.
Learn more on TechCrunch.
- Agriculture and Food Tech
- AR and VR
- Autonomy and Robotics
- Deep Tech (Quantum, Space, Drones, 3D printing, etc.)
- Infrastructure Software
- Machine Learning and AI
- Synthetic Biology
This post originally appeared on the Spearhead blog.