Early stage funding, founders, and helping them do good by doing good.
Started in 2021, growing in 2022
It has been 8 months of Eigenspace with 2 cohorts have been underway, 15 companies have attended our programming, 8 are in or are going to enter our ongoing program, and we have 4 investments with a few likely to happen early in the new year.
When we look at the group of founders we are working with, we group them into different categories and expect them to move around week to week and month to month.
Our top group are the ones that currently have the mindset we are looking for and building momentum. They are incorporating new ideas, new people, and executing on their plan.
The middle group are a shift in mindset away from developing momentum. They are working away on tough problems but some of it takes more time, life stuff happens, or something else is just in the way.
That leaves the bottom group and it is not a great place to be. There are only a couple in this group at the moment. They are stuck and not open to experimentation or behaviour changes that will likely lead to better outcomes.
This classification exercise for us is documented weekly and helps build a deeper understanding of what we can do to help and where our energy should go. We haven’t shared this with founders but we might start doing that.
Programming wise we started with a workshop + office hours for 12 weeks. The first four weeks are about establishing trust. Without it you can’t get to the tough stuff. We are modifying this to incorporate more group discussion to help them contextualize things that we say in workshops. Trusted networks are a powerful tool.
For the next 8 months our high level goal is to increase the number of ambitious founders entering the program that might typically self select away from entering a program. To do this we are going to develop a specialized program aimed at students that might be graduating in the spring that will run alongside our cohort.
Our ongoing coaching is both fun and beneficial to both us and the founders we work with. It can be a Discord conversation late at night or over the weekend or more regular office hours.
With how we fund companies, we have been flexible to meet the founders where they are right now. That also allows us to try different approaches without being constrained by a framework.
For 2022 we are going to make more modifications as we learn how the money investment can help founders gain the investment momentum they need to be successful.
It is very clear to almost everyone that early stage funding and support in Canada must evolve. There are many new experiments from venture studios to globally established funding programs entering the market.
For us at Eigenspace we are building something that we hope will have the impact of YC on early stage companies in Canada and lead to more companies growing faster while creating a wealth engine for founders, funders, and the people that build these companies (employees and the communities they live in).
We hold ourselves to our overarching belief that we can do good by doing good.