AngelList and Boston-based VC firm Accomplice have launched the Spearhead program, a $35 million total fund that will be dedicated to teaching founders the foundations of angel investing — and they’re looking for Canadian founders.
The 15 founders accepted to the program receive their own fund of $200,000, 15 percent carry, as well as mentorship and masterclasses from angel investors and VCs. If they make promising investments, they can be eligible for up to $1 million to invest over two years.
“There is a shortage of angel investors and early founder capital everywhere but we see a greater opportunity outside of San Francisco and New York.”
– Cack Wilhelm
Participating in Spearhead comes at no cost, but if a founder is accredited with sufficient liquidity, Speahead will ask them to personally invest at least one percent of the total fund size. AngelList helps deal with the legal logistics of Spearhead — of which AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant and Jake Zeller are partners — while Accomplice is the largest investor in Spearhead.
The program notes that it expects founders to run their companies while participating, with classes on evenings and weekends.
“We see Toronto, Montreal, Waterloo as extensions of the US, moreso than entirely different ecosystems. We’ve been continually impressed with the founder caliber at companies like Unsplash, Hopper, and Transit,” said Cack Wilhelm, partner at Accomplice VC and Spearhead, on why Canada is a target market. “For Spearhead, we want to pay tribute to that and recognize that the caliber of talent and ideas is on par with the big tech ecosystems in the States. There is a shortage of angel investors and early founder capital everywhere but we see a greater opportunity outside of San Francisco and New York.”
Accomplice currently has 15 investments in Canada, including Hopper, Joist, Freshbooks, Unsplash, Pagecloud, ChefHero, Influitive, Q4, and Transit.
Applications are due by January 26, with the first cohort beginning in April.
Update 01/29/17 @ 3:01 PM EST:
Accomplice has sent out a tweet encouraging more women founders to apply for the program:
We have 90% applications from men right now. We need to bump up the ratio of women. Please spread the word to your female founder friends! @HelloSpearhead https://t.co/TO0rI955t8
— Accomplice (@Accomplices) January 28, 2018