Who we are
The mission of Designer Fund is to help designers create businesses with meaningful impact. Our community gives angel funding, mentorship, and connections to entrepreneurial designers. We accept applications and referrals from talented designers and match them with resources to succeed at any stage of their development, ranging from incubation, seed to Series A and beyond. We also produce a designer-in-residence program called Bridge, organize educational events, and publish content such as the Designer Founders book to benefit the larger design community worldwide.
Why we exist
We believe that more designers should take the path of entrepreneurship and solve deep problems with technology. In our research we’ve found systemic issues including a lack of entrepreneurial design education, successful peers who serve as role models and capital resources. We also believe that companies can be more successful if design, engineering and business talent collaborate from the beginning. Teams with a critical mass of these skills can ship higher quality products, craft better user experiences and communicate a brand that resonates more with consumers. Designers who are part of the founding team can make the most impact by championing the user experience, building an exceptional design team and sustaining a culture of design.
Who we are looking for
Designers whose success in business generates meaningful impact using technology that can scale worldwide. We look to invest in a balanced mix of designers across three stages: incubation, seed and Series A. We’re focusing on designer founders primarily based in Silicon Valley but we’re open to those located in other major cities and startup hubs like New York City.
Our community has experience working at companies ranging from YouTube, Facebook, Google, and Twitter to consultancies such as IDEO, Cooper, Frog and Method to leading startups like Path, Airbnb, Pinterest and Flipboard. We’re putting our money and attention where our mouth is to help designers make startups that people actually want to use and talk about.
How it works
- Intro: We accept applications and referrals from the Designer Fund community. We’re currently focusing on working with designers who are part of the founding or core team of a startup. We’re interested in products that intentionally create meaningful impact using technology that can scale worldwide.
- Connect: We connect selected designers with mentors, angels and partners to see if there’s a fit. Although we’re primarily based in Silicon Valley, we’re open to considering designers located in major cities and startup hubs like New York City where we have community members.
- Offer: We make different investment offers to designers depending on their startup stage. Offers range from pure mentorship, angel funding, to co-investments with our partners. We look to invest in a balanced mix of designer cofounded companies across incubation, seed and Series A stages.
- Build: We give angel funding, mentorship and connections to help designers build their companies. For example, we produce a designer-in-residence program called Bridge to help companies develop exceptional design teams. We also host public educational events and private gatherings for designers to support each other in our community.
- Give Back: The Designer Fund community fosters a positive virtuous cycle of successful designers giving back to the next generation of entrepreneurial designers. Designers often invite their mentors to become formal advisors and give back time, money and/or equity to the Designer Fund to reinvest in the next generation of entrepreneurial designers.
How to get involved
Entrepreneurial designers seeking investment can apply during our application periods and/or be referred by members of our community.
Designers interested in contributing through mentorship and/or angel funding can be introduced by members of the Designer Fund community.
Potential partners and press should contact Enrique Allen or Ben Blumenfeld (hello at designerfund.com).