The virtues of coming to Silicon Valley are obvious: proximity to all sorts of talent, capital, and exposure to cutting-edge ideas. If one agrees with that, the logic holds more strongly the closer that proximity is. Four well known angel investors and founders are going to test that proposition with i/o Ventures, announced yesterday. Tech teams in their earliest stage of existence who are accepted into the program, will have the benefit of the expertise of a wide-ranging group of successful entrepreneurs and angel investors, delivered regularly and in person at a cool startup space on Valencia in the Mission. The coolness of the space is only as cool as the people in it, and knowing the founders of the program, they will keep it chill. Feedback is something that practitioners of lean startup ethos can get once their product is live, but have a hard time doing on the ideas themselves before they go out into the world. i/o Ventures’ program solves that by having experienced, friendly people bring together like-minded individuals (on very reasonable pre-money terms: $25,000 for 1/8th of your company. Congratulations! Your idea and team are worth $175,000!)
I suspect this will evolve to be neither the scale of idealab, nor as loose as Y Combinator, but something closer to Bloomsbury or other groups whose lineage is the intellectual salon — a socially and professionally coherent group of individuals who share a mission, in this case an entrepreneurial one. I’ve been to a number of the events Paul Bragiel, a cofounder of i/o (and CEO of Lefora, which I am an investor in), and the groups he gets together are invariably illuminating professionals who are a lot of fun. TriplePoint is happy to provide pr advice for i/o companies that want it, and will be a bit jealous of the exciting cauldron they’ll be a part of.
Programmers with a dream? Apply Now! Best of luck, Paul & co.