Investment Criteria

NSV seeks investment candidates that have the potential to play a highly impactful role in the current economic and societal transformation that has been described and chronicled by NSV’s sister non-profit, Network Society Research. NSV sources investment opportunities through its extensive network of relationships in the technology and impact investing communities. This includes entrepreneurial education programs, incubators, accelerators, angel investors, investment funds, crowdfunding platforms, corporations and other strategic partners. The candidates can be located anywhere in the world and NSV is particularly interested in looking at companies that are outside of the traditional venture investing “hot spots.” The candidates will usually fall into the eight Network Society sectors of energy, manufacturing, food, health, learning, finance, security and policymaking.

NSV focuses on investing at the seed stage, and on being the first professionally-managed money in the company, typically following friends, family and individual/angel investors. NSV will usually make investments in the range of $100K to $500K, which may stand alone or be part of a larger round. NSV will typically not make further investments in portfolio companies itself, but will seek follow-on investment rights for its strategic partners. It will generally not take a seat on a portfolio company’s board of directors, but will seek board observer rights. NSV’s goal is that its investment review and decision process will take less than one month.

Investment Criteria

  • Seed Stage — 1st Professional Money
  • Size: ~$100K — $500K
  • Based on Decentralized Networks
  • High “Exponential Quotient”
  • Capital–Efficient/”Lean”
  • Quality Management Team
  • Innovative Product/Service
  • Disruptive Business Model
  • Customer/Partner Traction
  • Great Market Timing
  • Robust Target Markets
  • Great Competitive Advantage
  • Intellectual Property Protections
  • B Corporation Compatible

NSV evaluates each venture on these primary criteria: quality of management team, the innovativeness of its products or services, degree of customer/partner traction, timing of the venture versus the overall market environment (i.e. is now the optimal time for this kind of venture, or are they too early or too late?), the disruptiveness of its business model, the size/nature of its targeted markets, the company’s competitive environment and the company’s intellectual property protections. NSV favors capital-efficient or “lean” companies. Investment candidates must also have the potential to achieve a high “Exponential Quotient” as described in Salim Ismail’s book Exponential Organizations, and leverage the power of decentralized networks, thus laying the foundation for rapid growth.

The Power of Exponentials and Decentralized Networks

NSV plans to be a public benefit corporation or “B Corporation.” As such, it is intended to create a material positive impact on society and the environment, taken as a whole, as assessed against a third party standard. It will evaluate its operations and investment candidates to assess their impact on workers, society and the environment.