New pre-seed fund created to bypass the status quo by investing in revolutionary technologies + pioneering founders who have been overlooked by traditional early-stage VCs
AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#4IR—Laurence Innovation, a new pre-seed investment fund with a focus on early-stage tech companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) verticals, announces the close of their Innovation Fund I pilot and opening of their Fund II rolling implementation. The fund is founded by blockchain industry vet and angel investor Tiana Laurence and David Nayer, a serial entrepreneur, inventor, and seasoned commercial operator.
“Although I understood the risks associated with investing in young, dynamic companies in the 4IR industries, I wanted to figure out how to mitigate those risks and get money flowing to diverse founders capable of making the world a better place,” said Tiana Laurence, Partner at Laurence Innovation. “So I teamed up with my now partner, David, to build the right mix of quantitative portfolio basics that factored the reality of investing earlier where there is the highest impact and return. We developed a rich Monte Carlo simulation to account for the full spectrum of variables needed for a sound funding strategy – and that’s when Laurence Innovation was born.”
Laurence Innovation was conceived to fund and support the companies that are building disruptive 4IR solutions (such as AI, IoT, blockchain, and biotech sectors) for the most pressing challenges the world is facing, from climate change to food insecurity. The fund’s passion for solving big problems is key for any investment. Another core priority for the fund is having a robust portfolio of companies founded and led by women, people of color, and entrepreneurs in under-capitalized areas. While the fund will work with any company that has a compelling vision and the right team to make it a reality, it actively searches for founders and opportunities that other firms have traditionally overlooked.
For portfolio companies, the fund goes beyond traditional investment and offers multiple layers of support often missing early in the startup’s lifecycle. By pairing pre-seed funding with quantitative modeling and strategic planning and early stage business development in its digital incubation program, Laurence Innovation is a synergistic partner for early-stage startups looking for market traction.
For investors, the fund focuses on a large, broadly diversified portfolio to offset idiosyncratic risk while capturing the outsized returns of great pricing offered by investing earlier in a company’s lifecycle. By leveraging portfolio theory, automation, and quantitative selection methods – as well as a uniquely diversified funding strategy focused on small investments in a large pool of companies, Laurence Innovation stands poised to deliver predictability in an unpredictable market.
“Funds have been over focused on Type I error, the fear of false positives,” said David Nayer, Partner at Laurence Innovation. “This is the insistence that an investment be fully confirmed as a winner before it gets capital. This habit perpetuates investing late when price competition has squeezed out all the alpha. Our fund is at least equally concerned with Type II error, the false negatives. This error is about the great overlooked teams and innovations that have false negatives or weak signaling when they are in fact a great opportunity – we are focused on actively finding these.”
Currently, Laurence Innovation is deploying its Fund I pilot program in Q1 to complete development of the primary systems of its investment thesis. It consists of $125k in capital allocated to 18 investments and participation in the fund’s 12 week digital incubator. Laurence Innovation Fund II launches in Q2 and will build upon the validated data and success of the pilot program.
Laurence Innovation has funded these companies as part of its pilot program with additional companies systematically rolling out by the end of Q1:
Skycom: Skycom is an aerospace startup that creates High Altitude Lighter Than Air Platforms (HALTAPs) that are low-cost, geostationary airships that float above 60k ft altitude to create a high-speed wireless network in the sky.
Mona Love Gustav: Mona Loves Gustav created ArtDNA®, an AI platform, designed for the discovery and matching of art esthetics, by facilitating an understanding of the viewer’s personality traits as they relate to visual characteristics in art works.
- GrowUPP: GrowUPP is a modular platform integrating hardware and software making next generation agtech accessible to farms of any scale.
“Laurence Innovation provides true partnership to the entrepreneurial community,” said Sean Jump, President and COO of Skycom. “The team is smart, agile, well connected, and most importantly, have built their own startups and understand the struggles entrepreneurs face in trying to change the world for the better.”
About Laurence Innovation
Laurence Innovation is a pre-seed investment fund uniquely sourcing tech companies – particularly in Fourth Industrial Revolution fields such as AI, IoT, and biotech – access to capital and an intensive digital incubation program at the earliest stages of their development. By focusing on a higher number of early-stage companies and providing the resources they need to scale with our incubator program, Laurence Innovation limits risk and reduces costs for our investors while supporting a wider and more diverse range of founders. Laurence Innovation is disrupting the status quo in venture capital – we’re building partnerships with the people who are driving the 4IR and who have been overlooked by traditional investors.