Community-powered capital

VenCorps™ is the world’s first crowd sourced venture capital firm

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USA
US United States
Web http://www.vencorps.com/
Maturity

Mature

About the project Edit

VenCorps™ is a community of peers focused on startup success. Every month, VenCorps™ invests $25,000 in a startup. Peers review and decide who should get funding in regular challenges. The startups with the most votes and highest aggregated get the funding.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

VenCorps™'s process of investing is unique and particularly innovative:
1) Startups post their elevator pitch for the community to review. Members vote these pitches- either thumbs up or thumbs down. Once a startup has 25 votes (more than 50% have to be positive), the startup moves to phase 2 - evaluate.
2) Startups in phase 2 complete a profile, answering standard investment questions. Members review the profiles evaluating them along 5 criteria and using a 5 star method.
3) Each month the top 9 startups go head to head for community support. Members allocate points (a virtual currency) they have earned to the startup they want VenCorps to fund. The most backed startup wins an investment of $25,000. The other 8 startups go back to phase 2 and compete again next month.

VenCorps™ members earn points for their activity on the site, notably: reviewing and rating startups, rating other members’ contributions and the ratings of their contributions by others. Members determine the value of VenCorps™ points through their bids in a blind auction for daily items in a specific VenCorps™store.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

VenCorps™ corresponds to a unique process of democratization of the due diligence work required for startup financing.
The fund makes no IP claims over any startup participating on VenCorps™.
Lastly, as stated on VenCorps Web site, most venture capitalists promise to add more than just capital to startups they invest in. VenCorps™ makes the same promise, but relies on tens of thousands of people not a handful of portfolio managers to deliver on such promise. The development of startups is therefore facilitated by the sheer size of the network of facilitators and advisors.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

VenCorps™ mentions 7,500 members from around the globe on its site: entrepreneurs and founders of startup companies, service providers to early stage companies, angel and venture capital investors, technology enthusiasts, students and academics... It his highly scalable by nature. Other funds with similar selection practices could develop outside of the US.
Debt or (public) grant financing could probably also use such a collaborative process. Government entities could use the skill sets of peers in order to assess projects in seed or first growth financing phases.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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