Who We Are
Foundry Group is a venture capital firm focused on making investments in early-stage information technology, Internet and software startups. Our passion is working alongside entrepreneurs to give birth to new technologies and to build those technologies into industry-leading companies. We’re centrally located in Boulder, CO, but we invest in companies across North America.
What We Do
As true early-stage investors, we are comfortable making small seed investments (as little as $250,000 – $500,000) to help promising entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. We are equally comfortable participating in larger, more traditional Series A venture financing rounds. Regardless of the size of our initial investment, the size of our fund allows us to continue to support our portfolio companies through their entire financing lifecycles.
In addition to providing the necessary venture capital to get a company up and running, we are committed to leveraging our experience in starting and growing companies, our expertise in the technology industry, and our network of relationships to help great entrepreneurs turn great ideas into great companies.
How We Do It
We believe that success comes from building a collaborative and supportive relationship between Foundry Group and the entrepreneurs and executives in whom we invest. Having walked the proverbial mile in the entrepreneur’s shoes, we understand where we can add value—such as helping build out a management team, thinking through strategic business development and growth opportunities, or providing advice on exit strategies—and we aren’t afraid to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.
Rest assured, however, that we also know the difference between being value-added investors and being micro-managing investors. As venture capitalists, we believe our role is to identify, help build and support the team that will make our companies successful, not to run those companies ourselves.
We also believe that, in early-stage investing, it is critical we maintain a direct relationship between our entrepreneurs and our managing directors, rather than using junior professionals to manage the work load. Foundry Group’s team structure, fund size, and investment process have been intentionally created to ensure this philosophy guides our interactions with all of our investments.
In most cases, Foundry Group will be the first institutional investor in the companies that we back. Because of our active engagement with our companies, we typically will take a correspondingly substantial ownership position in our investments and will join as a member of the company’s board of directors.
We recognize that sometimes the best ideas aren’t ones that generate broad investor consensus. Though we are happy to co-invest with other venture firms as part of a syndicate, we look to our own evaluation and interpretation of an entrepreneur, a market opportunity and a company’s prospects to guide our investment decisions. As a result, we view ourselves as “syndication agnostic” and are entirely comfortable investing in an early-stage company as its sole investor rather than seeking the validation of co-investors.
What We Invest In
Unlike many venture capital firms that invest in certain geographic regions or specific technologies and sectors, Foundry Group’s investing activity is largely driven by a thematic approach. The themes we pursue tend to be horizontal in nature and are often driven by underlying technology protocols and standards or emerging market trends and customer needs. Rather than looking for short-term hits, we focus on themes that have the ability to drive a cycle of innovation (and hence provide multiple investment opportunities) over a period of five to ten years or more.
Examples of the investment themes we are currently pursuing include Human Computer Interaction, Protocol, AdHesive, Glue and Marketplace. As one might expect, we are always in the process of evaluating current themes and investigating new ones. That said, we don’t strictly limit our investing activities to our themes—great entrepreneurs with great ideas still count for a lot in our book. In fact, our thinking about these themes can be born from and evolve as a result of our investment in an entrepreneur at the leading edge.
If you’re interested in learning more, we have a blog post dedicated to the topic of What Is ‘Thematic Investing?’. You can keep abreast of the specific themes we’re currently investing in or are thinking about by checking out our Themes page. You can also get a sense of how our thematic approach translates into specific investments through taking a look at our Portfolio Companies.