Sputnik ATX in the COVID-19 Age

Oksana and I had more than just a few meetings in the past few months to discuss how the current pandemic will change investing in early stage companies, and how we can adapt to help companies be safe, and grow through hard times.

So, we’re announcing today that we’re open for our next cohort applications, and have a couple of things you should know:

  1. It is very likely that our next cohort will meet virtually, at least to get started, and we’ll see how it goes. Most of our work can be done remotely, and we don’t want to risk it if things are still dodgy.
  2. Interviews will still be in person, but at a distance, and likely outdoors. This will mean modifying how we interview. You’ll definitely be 20 feet away from us (so get good at projecting your voice), and we will all have masks. With sun shining and a breeze flowing, no need for anyone to take risks on this, but we still want to see who we’re investing in, at a significant distance. And please, don’t come close to us, not because you stink or anything like that, safety first.
  3. Our new SAFE note has two key changes. First, we’ve increased our option to invest up to $500k in your company from $350k where it was today. This reflects the need to pump additional capital into our most promising alumni who need growth capital due to epic demand, and the expectation that many angel investors are limiting new investment. Second, the option period is now 18 months, to ensure that if you hit your growth period after graduation, we’ve still got your back. We’ve already seen graduates from even a year ago coming back when they hit their stride, and we’d like to make that refunding easy.
  4. More than anything, we strongly believe that this shall pass. It is hard but we know the dawn is coming, and we firmly believe that there is a bright future for humanity and the Texas start-up community.

So, let’s get started partnering with you, the dauntless entrepreneur during COVID, and press forward. This will end, and when it does, the future will be amazing.

Author: Joe Merrill

I'm a VC in Austin, TX.

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