The Founders Club seeks non-VC backed members

The Founders Club has opened its doors to allow non-venture capital backed founders, chief executives and investors to become members of its 'equity exchange' funds for the first time.


The Founders Club has opened its doors to allow non-venture capital backed founders, chief executives and investors to become members of its ‘equity exchange’ funds for the first time.

The Founders Club has opened its doors to allow non-venture capital backed founders, chief executives and investors to become members of its ‘equity exchange’ funds for the first time.

The policy change from the club, which is open to entrepreneurs who agree to share a portion of the cash proceeds of their exits with other members when they sell their companies, comes as the group announces 12 further venture partners to its board.

Founder and general partner Andrew Romans says the decision to no longer restrict club membership to businesspeople who are backed by venture capital has been made because too many worthy companies are being excluded.

Romans comments, ‘Until now we have only signed VC-backed CEOs, founders and angel shareholders. We realised we were missing a big opportunity to sign high potential early-stage tech entrepreneurs who had raised angel funding or bootstrapped their companies without VC funding.’

He continues, ‘Most of the pre-VC backed CEOs and founders joining our new exchange funds will progress to raise VC funding and that is something our network can help with. We will showcase these companies to angels and VCs.’

As part of the opening up of the club’s membership, a series of specific ‘exchange funds’ will be released that will group together start-ups around specific industries and enable entrepreneurs to commit part of their equity to more than one exchange fund operated by The Founders Club.

The specific exchange funds, which comprise about 15 portfolio companies, will be created for sectors including mobility, advertising, gaming, consumer internet, enterprise technology, music, and healthcare and life science. All entrepreneurs will also be encouraged to put some equity into the global fund, which targets more than 200 companies in one portfolio.

Members will also have the option to buy shares for cash from entrepreneurs when the entrepreneur wants immediate liquidity.

Among the 12 venture partners to join the club are: Chris Yeh, technology business angel of Silicon Valley; Isaac Applbaum of Opus Capital in Silicon Valley; active angel and serial entrepreneur Alex Mashinsky; serial entrepreneur and business angel Kelly Perdew; and Chris Burke, former managing director of BlackBerry EMEA and chief technology officer of Vodafone UK.

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

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