FoundersPad, which began as a Bend-based accelerator for early-stage companies, is now a venture capital fund.
But it’s not your typical venture capital fund, said Jason Moyer, FoundersPad fund manager. “We want to offer expertise and capital,” he said. “We believe in giving companies the right amounts of capital at the right times.”
Moyer said FoundersPad recently completed fundraising and is ready to invest $25,000 to $75,000 per company. He expects that investments by FoundersPad will trigger additional deals with FoundersPad’s individual backers, who include Dino Vendetti of Seven Peaks Ventures.
FoundersPad is not disclosing its assets, Moyer said. The fund was created through investment by several chief executives, venture capital and private equity professionals who live in Bend, he said.
While many venture capital funds promise to offer mentoring and expertise to early-stage companies, Moyer said that often doesn’t pan out because the funds’ fee structure doesn’t support the necessary manpower. So Moyer worked with Vendetti and FoundersPad principal Chris Capdevila to create a new model.
FoundersPad will employ experts from various fields to work with portfolio companies over 12 to 18 months, Moyer said. The mentors will be compensated through the warrant position that FoundersPad takes in the company. A warrant is like a stock option; it gives investors a right to buy or sell shares, but warrants are usually held over a period of years and aren’t traded on an exchange.
At the same time, the FoundersPad venture fund will provide necessary capital, Moyer said.
FoundersPad began as a Bend-centric accelerator, supporting companies ZeroTransform, which makes virtual reality games, and Amplion, which won the 2014 Bend Venture Conference with its pharmaceutical-development database software.
As a venture fund, FoundersPad will look outside of Oregon for investment opportunities, and it will consider companies from a diversity of industries, not just technology, Moyer said.
FoundersPad is looking for companies with the potential to bring a return on investment, as well as a sound underlying business, Moyer said.
“Our purpose is to get companies to a better place,” he said, “not just the next investment round.”
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