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Launchpad Venture Group invests in companies based in the greater Boston area.
Boston area entrepreneurs are encouraged to reach out to any Launchpad member, all of whom are easy to find on LinkedIn or around the Boston startup ecosystem. Any Launchpad member can advise you about potential fit for the group’s investment focus areas and help you to apply to Launchpad for funding.
New company applications which are deemed to be a potential fit are typically either:
Promising companies coming out of a Catalyst event or scouting will be invited to pitch to our main monthly forum as a candidate for investment.
Launchpad looks for companies with the following attributes:
Companies at the beginning of their development cycle. Prototype or beta product with initial beta customer traction is ideal, though Launchpad will consider even earlier stage (idea plus committed founders) or later stage (post revenue). See Preferred Investment Stages.
Business or product ideas which have innovative technologies at their foundation or utilize technology in an innovative way.
Your business plan must identify how you will be able to harness your innovation to grow market share over time while maintaining high margins in the face of increasing competition. Fresh innovative thinking is a start, but lasting competitive advantage typically comes from such things as strong intellectual property, strategic relationships and agreements which are exclusive (or exclusive with respect to a specific field), first-mover advantage which can be converted into “ownership” of the customer relationship, very strong brand recognition, hard to duplicate manufacturing or business model innovation, or special skills or knowledge not easily replicated.
Launchpad takes a particular interest in technology-driven opportunities which have the potential to be transformative of an existing market or create new markets. In order to generate superior returns, investment candidates must (i) be focused on transforming or developing markets with the potential to reach several hundred million dollars in size and (ii) have a clear plan to become leaders in that market commanding significant market share, each within five years.
Companies will demonstrate the potential for this high growth by demonstrating that they have a clear understanding of their customer’s urgent need and that they can address that need with an innovative, practical, viable, capable-of-being-commercialized solution whose economics suit the customer’s needs and will allow a fast ramp to market share.
Launchpad looks for management teams who are visionary, passionate, committed, tenacious, coachable and credible. We look for clear leadership skills at the top; clear, confidence-inspiring communication style, scalability, easy approachability, good listening skills, versatility, willingness to work hard, and a service- and customer-centric view of the world. Additionally, we expect the team to have an array of other start-up skills including members (or a clearly-delineated “to-be-hired”) with depth in the target vertical, some operational experience, some financial acumen, and some marketing flair.
Launchpad looks for companies where the timely injection of an early round of $350K-$1M in capital with some advice and introductions can allow the achievement of the next important stage of development and level of company value (building out the team, releasing the commercial product, finalizing V2.0, etc.). Further we typically look for companies with a reasonable pre-money valuation ($1-5M) which can reach positive cash-flow or a strategic exit without consuming inordinate amounts of capital (in excess of $10M in aggregate).
Early-stage investing is a high-risk activity, so Launchpad looks for the potential to return 10-20X capital invested within 3-6 years. To achieve this kind of return a company must have a well-defined exit strategy with an identified set of players calculated to result in a liquidity event upon achievement of certain milestones. Specificity in this area is a must - Launchpad looks for the players, the expected multiples (with supporting benchmarks), the milestones, and the path to those milestones.