The Channel logo


By | John Oates 15th November 2007 12:33

Veterans form VC fund for small biz

Seeding, funding and mentoring

A group of Silicon Valley veterans is launching an early stage venture capital and mentoring company aimed at small technology start-ups.

It aims to fill the perceived gap between small-scale bank funding and the big investments of the traditional venture funds. Firms often complain it is very difficult to get funding which is more than the tens of thousands of pounds typically offered by banks, but less than the several million offered by normal VC funds.

Successful applicants to LaunchBox Digital get money, help with the admin of setting up the business and a 12 week course in Washington along with access to mentors and other potential investors.

Founders include the former CTO of AOL John McKinley, Sean Greene, founder of Away Travel Network which he sold to Orbitz. Advisors to LaunchBox Digital include Ross Levinsohn, former president of Fox Interactive, Ted Meisel, former CEO of Overture, Tom and David Gardner, founders of the Motley Fool and Michael Powell former FCC chairman.

LaunchBox is looking for six to ten firms to take part in its first course in Washington in May 2008. It will offer firms investment of between $15,000 and $30,000 in exchange for a four to eight per cent equity stake.

Companies are expected to end the 12 week course with a decent pitch to offer other investors and the press at a pitch day. Most companies are expected to need more investment by the end of the course.

The VC website is here. ®

alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe