We fill a widely acknowledged gap in the emerging growth world: Most startup companies lack complete, seasoned management teams but (being cash-starved startups), they also lack the cash to hire in those seasoned professionals. Wellspring FV's purpose is to bridge this gap.
We’ve observed this gap time and time again. It prevents many companies from getting funded and it keeps many investors from making investments. Ultimately, this lack of management is what stunts a company's ability to grow or even survive. Here are some of our observations:
Be careful what you wish for . . .
Many startup companies are founded by technologists who are quite skilled in their chosen field but lack experience with the important business management aspects of sales, marketing, accounting, manufacturing, public relations -- and most importantly -- developing long-term strategy for growth.
As their companies grow, the entrepreneurs find themselves spending less and less time doing the technology work they love that got the company started, and more time managing the business. They rarely have time to spend strategic planning.
Angels have to do homework, too
Most angel investors are excited by promising startup companies and want to invest, but locating and becoming comfortable with these companies is very difficult to do.
Angels have to depend on their own due diligence before they take the plunge, and often they lack the ability or time to meaningfully effect change in the company if trouble arises.
Most professional investors look for companies that have managed to progress beyond the startup phase, have developed their product or service and have developed a revenue stream. Many venture capital firms require companies to be generating significant sales before they consider investing.
Unlike a venture capital firm, Wellspring does NOT invest cash, but rather something more valuable - TIME. We actively take interim management roles within your company to help build it. And, unlike consultants, we do not seek large hourly rates and open ended contracts. We get paid in equity, and bet on the same pony you do.
Like a good department store, Wellspring FV has something for everybody.
Something for the entrepreneur:
Wellspring FV provides help. Advice grows on trees, we come and actually help. We have extensive experience in all aspects of high-growth, high-tech management. We’ve actually been there and done it (believe it -- see our bios). We know where the land mines are buried -- and we’ll show you the map.
Once the company is generating enough revenues to hire its own internal managers, we assist in the hiring, get out of the way, and help the company as advisors.
Something for the angel investor:
Wellspring FV performs exhaustive due diligence before partnering with a company. Why? Because we are going to commit our only non-renewable resource: time. Wellspring FV is limited by the nature of our involvement to a very small number of deals at one time. If we become involved, you can be sure we are confident of success.
Secondly, once we become involved, the company has a full management team, and is highly motivated to drive the company toward that most delightful goal: the exit event. After all, that's what Wellspring is in it for....
And for the professional VC:
Our involvement with the company gives it a much greater chance of meeting the VC's investment requirements. There are a number of reasons why:
What types of companies does Wellspring FV serve?
We serve companies ...
That operate in the information technology and/or manufacturing spaces. Typically this means Internet (where the Internet is used as a tool, not a "dot com"), computer software, hardware, or other technology that processes or aggregates information while connected to others of its kind. We do not get involved with medical, life sciences, multi-level marketing, franchising, food service, or vending companies.
Whose product or service is not easily copied ...
In the technology field, a defensible position is extremely important. We commit our resources only to companies that have a sustainable edge over existing competitors or those who are sure to surface once the company becomes wildly successful.
with a bright future that includes an acquisition or an IPO ...
This allows us to offer our investors the potential returns they need to see to participate in your success. Investors need to see a large profit potential before they will consider your company. If you don’t want to build your company and sell it, or take your company public, you're in the wrong web site.
and are located within 250 miles of our central Pennsylvania headquarters.
Since we’ll be spending a lot of time together, it only makes sense for us to be within driving distance of your company. This reduces costs and increases efficiency.
Is Wellspring FV a venture capital company?
We are NOT a venture capital firm. Capital is merely one of the tools we use to build companies.
We’re a venture development company. Most startup companies suffer from lack of management. Generally the founders possess the technical skills to develop the technology but are not experienced at accounting, basic management, business plan development, capital formation, deal sourcing, partnering and finally acquisition or IPO management.
Wellspring FV provides experience, skills and hard work to help you through all the rough spots in the growth of a successful high tech business.
What the heck does “FV” stand for?
Future Value. That’s what we help provide.