Early stage venture capital firm Founders’ Co-op turns 15

The startup world is often seen as one of constant change. And that’s because it generally is. But every once in a while, there’s an entity that manages to stay the course. Remaining consistent. And ideally, solvent. And those few and far between, steadfast entities are critical. Because it’s those elements of a startup ecosystem that provide the tentpole-esque support that ensures the ever changing elements can do what they do. And that the community will survive. From my perspective, that’s what Founders’ Co-op has done over the last 15 years for startups throughout the Pacific Northwest.

And for Portland — a town that isn’t exactly known for embracing risk, especially when it comes to investing — having resources nearby who can shore up the local funding gaps, shoulder some of that risk, and help sustain companies until they are more stable has been critical to the success of venture funded companies here. And perhaps, the Portland startup community as a whole.

I cannot begin to capture the positive the knock on effects of a consistent 15 years.

But just as important are the learnings harvested from those 15 years of effort.

As we embark on our next 15 years, we’ve learned to have no set ideas about what the future will bring, but we do know a few things for sure. Even in an era of remote work and Zoom-first investing, the Pacific Northwest remains as talent-rich and investment-poor as it was when we started. Aviel and I love working together to find and develop the most talented founding teams in our region. And as much as they value our help at Pre-Seed and Seed, no team in their right mind would prefer to raise their Series A from a regional generalist fund when they can access the best specialist investors in the world for their next stage of growth. By keeping our fund sizes small and laser-focused on the gaping hole in our market, we can deliver exceptional returns for our LPs, make the most of our hard-earned institutional knowledge, and have a hell of a good time doing it.

Congrats on reaching 15 years, Founders’ Co-op. We should get jackets or something.

For more on Founders’ Co-op and the insights they’ve gleaned from their experience in venture capital in the Pacific Northwest, read “15 Years of Founders’ Co-op.”