Founder Collective Wants to Get to Know You, Cook You Dinner

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Who wouldn't want to have dinner with Caterina? Photo: Joi's flickr

Over at Newsweek, Doree Shafrir profiles Founder Collective, a New York–based angel investing consortium made up of tech-scene luminaries like Zach Klein, Chris Dixon, and Caterina Fake. The difference between angel investors and powerhouse venture-capital firms, says Shafrir is that angels are "individual entrepreneurs who’ve hit it big and are looking to gamble their own money on the next generation of talent." In Klein, Dixon, and Fake's case, that means investing the money they made from the sale of College Humor, SiteAdvisor, and Flickr, respectively, in smaller doses, often an average of $200,000, in exchange for less equity than a VC. But there are other aspects that distinguish the semi-socialist mentorship style of the Collective, like the focus on an individual founder over the start-up — and the homemade spaghetti and meatballs.


So cozy is the Founder Collective relationship that “entrepreneurs have come and stayed at my house,” says Fake, who lives in San Francisco. Venture capitalists “can show up to the board meeting, but they’re not going to make you spaghetti and meatballs and play trains with my daughter. I’m happy to talk products well into the night.”

All that individual attention means that selling your concept can sometimes veer into first-date territory. "Pitch meetings often involve Dixon asking a young prospect to tell his life story. 'So you liked programming your whole life, that kind of thing?' "

Pennies From Heaven [Newsweek]