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Starting a venture capital firm is a lot of work, and we believe that there is a better way. New Managers looking to launch a new venture capital firm and raise a venture capital fund have a lot to do simultaneously:

  • create a strong Investment Thesis that attracts fund investors;
  • develop complex models to determine fund size, investment amounts and follow-on strategies;
  • establish a consistent source of deal flow that can create positive financial returns; 
  • source and get introductions to fund investors, called Limited Partners;
  • manage an expensive legal process to create series of specialized entities;
  • and much more.


Most of the information and best practices for starting a venture capital firm are either hard to find or non-existent. The venture capital trade is learned through a long and tedious apprenticeship process dominated by homogenous practitioners that has historically frowned upon diversity.

No more. We have assembled resources and launched a new program, VC Lab, to help any passionate and talented person launch a new venture capital firm. We believe that the venture capital industry needs more access, more innovation and more diversity for the coming decade of innovation. 

What are the first steps to starting a venture capital fund?

The first step to launch a venture capital firm is to develop an Investment Thesis. If you can create a compelling thesis, then you have a shot at attracting strong Limited Partners, making great investments and generating positive returns. Once you have a rough thesis, you can join VC Lab to refine your thesis, form the firm and start fundraising for the fund.

In order to help you get started with this first and very crucial milestone, we have created a "Pre-Curriculum" to VC Lab, an accelerator for venture capital firms. This is a four step process that you can start working on right now, and it will only take a few hours to work through:


What is VC Lab?

VC Lab is a free VC accelerator program that helps New Managers to start accelerators, pre-seed, seed or Series A venture capital firms globally. The goal is to help you complete your first closing in one year or less by providing a supportive community, tactical advice and resources through approximately 25 hours per week of structured work.

Applications to the next VC Lab cohort are due on Tuesday, July 14. To apply, visit FI.co/vc

In the program, participants work closely with the Silicon Valley team of the Founder Institute and leading experts in launching VC funds, including experienced general partners, limited partners, fund of funds and back office experts. Through the program, you will join private webinars, attend office hours and you will engage with your peers via our dedicated Slack channel. The program also provides managers with the opportunity to participate in Demo Day style events to help accelerate their efforts to reach funds of funds.

The Founder Institute has worked with leading venture fund experts to create a program that has a number of benefits for new managers, including:

  • Speed: Get to your first closing 9 month faster by following a structured process with key resources at your fingertips.
  • Community: Build strong relationships with cohort members and win competitive deals while accelerating your fundraising process.
  • Network: Tap into the global Founder Institute network of experts that include general partners, limited partners and backoffice professionals.
  • Support: Share your experiences with the VCLab mentors as well as with other new managers at the same stage to procure up-to-date solutions to non-obvious challenges.
  • Dealflow: Start warehousing attractive investments to make the fund compelling to limited partners with the help of Founder Institute’s global network.
  • Resources: Save invaluable time by accessing best-of-breed templates for everything from your pitch deck to legal agreements.
  • Experience: The Founder Institute has been building effective training programs for a decade with a track record of success.
  • Partners: VC Lab has partnered with vetted service providers and organizations to offer you various discounts and promotions to help you grow your fund.

New and aspiring fund managers can learn more about VC Lab at FI.co/vc.

Do you want to help make Venture Capital better, fairer, or more inclusive? At the Founder Institute, we do - that's why we created the VC Lab program. If you're reading this now, and you share our vision for improving the VC landscape, please help us spread the word: scroll back to the top of this page, and give a quick share to this article on social media. You can help us change the status quo, help more great founders to raise funding, and ultimately build a better future for everyone.

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