Thanks to Rampersand for sharing their no-nonsense response to Brooklyn Bridge Ventures’ challenge for transparency from the investment community.

Here’s Sentient Inception’s response:

About Us: see the about-us page

Our focus:

Founders that are developing technology that fit into these categories will get the most attention:

  1. Real World AI/machine learning
  2. Smart hardware
  3. Computer Vision
  4. Robotics

What’s the best way to pitch the firm? Do I need to know someone you know?

Knowing someone that can refer you certainly helps us trust you faster, but we also engage with founders who reach out directly, just be patient as we need more time to make sure you are the real deal.

Who makes decisions and does that differ across stage and size?

Dr. Paul Boxer ultimately makes the decision to invest. He does this with input from the people he involves in the due diligence process.

Are you a fund with committed capital? Where is it from, generally speaking? How much is left and when was the last fund raised?

Sentient Inception incubates companies seeking Angel Investment. Currently it is Dr. Paul Boxer’s investment capital. We intend to raise a fund over the next 12 months.

Do you lead?

Yes

How do I know a “yes” is official?

We like to keep things simple, when we say “yes” it will be followed by a legal agreement as soon as possible, if not at the same time. We want to be sure our founders have a controlling stack and incentive to build their business and we provide clarity in our terms – we don’t win by tricking our founders into agreements they don’t understand.

Stage: pre-seed

* Incubating 2 companies right now. Looking for 1-4 in 2017.
* Average first investment is under $100,000.

What we look for

* Strong technical capabilities in the founding team
* Have “what it takes” in the 5 areas highlighted in our book: Ready to Launch?
* Tech: AI/machine learning, robotics, computer vision. No biotech, no app-only products.
* Pre-seed (i.e. still prototyping or have first tame client): Founders should have their team together and ready to commit the majority of their time, probably no revenue. Founders should not be expecting a comfortable pay check.

Diversity

Paul has a founder-first mentoring approach that means he doesn’t have all the answers, but he’s got a lot of wisdom and can help you find yours. As a female founder, I have always found his style to be the right balance between challenging and supportive. As a woman in tech I’ve been lucky to find plenty of collaborative mentors along the way and I know how powerful that is to overcoming the barriers that are so common. We intend to support every founder who “has what it takes” and is at the right stage with their idea.

Our process:

1. First meeting: usually with Jen
2. Meet with Paul
3. Initial due diligence – 1-3 weeks
4. Acceptance into incubator
agreed upon milestones to qualify for investment – 3 months
5. Investment term sheet offered based on achieving milestones
6. Founders deliver on milestones to unlock the funding
7. Sentient to lead further rounds of investment based on traction