The Slater Fund’s investment strategy is to partner with founders by investing in the seed stage of a venture, almost exclusively in one of three sectors: life sciences; software, internet and media; or energy technology. The companies we support always agree to base and build their ventures in Rhode Island.
We place a premium on the value of a great team, both in management and advisory roles, but we are eager to help assemble the best players if they are not already in place. We are big believers in experience, but very frequently work with first-time founders or chief executives.
Our focus is on technology-based businesses, rather than those based on consulting services or technology integrations, where differentiating from stiff competition is difficult. We are always seeking the rare venture that has created some sort of unfair and sustainable competitive advantage in its marketplace. Since we often invest in technologies emanating from universities, this often involves intellectual property such as patents, but it can also mean key contracts or exclusivity, a critical cost advantage, or a market position or business model that is hard to replicate.
We always appreciate and seek a well-conceived business model and business plan, especially ones that have been tested with customers and partners. A crisp value proposition, ideally supported by data, is always persuasive.
Finally, the Slater Fund tries to fund teams with a runway long enough to achieve critical events: frequently a next round of funding from new investors or returning investors. Therefore we favor plans that focus on the proximate and ultimate milestones that typically persuade the angel investor syndicates or venture capital funds to co-invest in the future, and the Slater Fund anticipates re-investing in ventures which meet their goals for at least several rounds.
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