Why Health and Happiness?
Our view is that health and happiness exist in a continuum. Greater health unlocks the potential for happiness; absence of health closes off paths toward happiness. Conversely, a happier human has greater potential to be a healthier human.
Today, science and tech hold promise for impacting health and happiness as never before. We see breakthroughs in deep science presenting new responses to diseases and opening pathways toward the prevention of diseases. We see powerful new approaches to mental health and the flood of stress facing modern humans. And we see transformed perspectives on fundamentals like food and water, shifting how daily life can deliver health and happiness in revolutionary new ways.
The Emergence of a Happiness Continuum
Deep science creates a potentiality. That potentiality is realized through applied science. In many cases, data is essential for the applied science or is created as a result of that application. Individual applied science capabilities are then integrated to form effective market solutions (AI tied to sensors tied to biological or neurological signals; VR tied to brain waves tied to AI). These integrated solutions tie to existing or new distribution systems to reach customers. The endpoints of those distribution systems are existing or new forms of customer connection. The initial customer connection is enhanced and extended via online and real-world community. This produces a density of data and interaction that makes precise personalization of product and experience possible. Thus, the flow is from deep science breakthroughs toward fully personalized products, all with the impact of delivering some aspect of the health/happiness continuum to an individual human.
Why Moment of INception?
Our moment-of-inception fund finds and interacts with more new companies than other funds through a blend of active outbound research, analytics, and intense networking. We analyze multiple investment sectors each year and select the areas with the greatest potential for high value Series A rounds and exits. Our intense early investing locks the lowest possible cost basis and pro rata access to high value Series A companies.
We undertake all this effort to produce reliably strong returns for investors over time. The earliest stages of startup life have been under-served by venture funds and left largely to angel investors, accelerators and other sources of limited long-term help to the founders.
We have long histories of evaluating brand new technologies and see a classic investment opportunity by going where other investors aren’t: the beginning.
Success in moment-of-inception grows from finding the best companies in the best business segments. We’ve developed a set of data methodologies designed to deliver the highest probability that we uncover and recognize companies that will generate dramatic and predictable returns. Using our proprietary market evaluation and company finding tools, we identify the strongest rising segments of tech investment opportunity, and then light up every brand new startup in those areas of focus. Because of our intense discovery process, we evaluate up to 4,000 companies each year across the US, Europe, and Asia. The context created by this extreme analysis informs our rigorous selection of the top 1% of new tech companies in the highest potential market segment.
Because we invest at the moment-of-inception, we lock in the lowest possible cost basis on the best companies. And, through pro rata rights, we guarantee participation in the strongest Series A rounds. The challenge at the A round isn’t knowing about the companies; everybody knows which companies are doing well. The challenge is getting into the rounds. So, in our very early-stage investing, we always take pro rata rights, and that, essentially, gives us an option to participate in highly sought-after A rounds.
HOW WE DO IT
Our team has developed dominant media, research and tech companies in the three modern tech revolutions: PC, Internet and Social. We now stand poised on the edge of the fourth: Health and Happiness. Our portfolio companies benefit from the resulting rich perspective and world-class connections, a mutually supportive community of more than 400 fellow startups, and support from our LPs, who include leading corporations and leaders in software development, marketing, and media from three continents. Because of our lab and technical backgrounds, we have developed a uniquely scientific approach to early-stage investing driven by data and research to uncover the best new companies in the strongest market segments.
WHO WE ARE
We are a team of world-class scientists, data analysts, uniquely experienced technologists, and investors. Our team includes five PhDs in hard sciences, as well as executives who have worked with Cisco, Vimeo, Softbank, Etsy, Bloomberg, Reuters and AARP. We are American, Chinese, Japanese, English, Italian, German and French.
As investors, the Social Starts team has had at least one “unicorn” in each decade since the 1980s. As operators, our team includes the founder of one of the first software companies in history; CEO of the first digital magazine company; founding editor of the Ziff computer magazines and head of Ziff Labs; turnaround publisher of PC Magazine; founder of the first digital video MCN; COO at Etsy; and COO at Spredfast. As scientists, we have PhDs from three different continents in biosciences, neurosciences and advanced mathematics and statistics.