Investing In Human Capital

In early stage venture capital, we hear a lot of firms (including our own) say that they invest in people.

Businesses create value in unique ways that are often manifestations of the founders themselves.

It is easy to forget that organizations are first and foremost places of humaninteraction, not just transaction. These interactions are vital to the outcome of good vs great companies, and in some instances, the difference between success and failure.

Simply stated, people are the cornerstone of all business. It follows that investors must consider the people variables first. However, what I’ve come to realize is that VC’s are actually investing in companies and betting on people.

These bets are typically placed as a function of having deep conviction for the founder’s ability to “figure it out”, “do the right thing” and “never die”.

At Alpha Bridge Ventures, we came together around a shared investment thesis that when entrepreneurs build THEMSELVES first and foremost, they in turn build better, more sustainable and resilient companies.

That said, we don’t feel good about leaving founders to navigate their personal wellness and leadership growth on their own. We know founders prioritize their company over these factors with the intention of winning at all costs.

Most success comes with a cost, but when it is at the expense of an individual’s wellbeing and development, there’s often more detriment than benefit.

As former founders and solo fund managers, Jake and I know what it feels like to be without a support network and have limited resources at our disposal. We also understand that building a company is an extremely taxing endeavor that takes it’s toll personally and professionally.

Our past experiences have inspired us to take action. We are no longer going to simply bet on founders, but directly influence the success of our portfolio companies by literally investing in the founders themselves.

We’ve allocated a portion of our fund to pay for leadership, wellness and personal support services for the founders we back through our integrated development platform, Project Atlas.

Every founder we “bet” on will have the opportunity to participate in the full expression of Project Atlas at our expense.

Because we invest in post seed stage companies with a clear path to their Series A, we spend the initial 8–12 months post-investment prepping the founders for their growth stages.

You can’t take a company further than you’ve taken yourself, so we aim to provide founders with the tools necessary to grow into the leaders who fundamentally change the world.

In other words, we help you build your best company by building the best YOU. We invest in YOU because it’s YOU that makes your company great.

VC 3.0 must take a more human centered approach and it’s time the narrative gets flipped:

Bet on companies, invest in people.

Want to know what we are up to? Want to participate in the Project Atlas Beta program? See more here and contact our Executive Director, Dr. Kari Sulenes.

Howie Diamond