The Redwood Startup Fund
Introducing a $1M fund that will invest $25k–$50k in startups that use RedwoodJS as a primary component in their stack.
The Redwood Startup Fund has several goals in mind.
The Redwood Startup Fund has several goals in mind.
Help more startups explore more territory, more quickly.
- This is our mission at RedwoodJS. Until now we’ve provided software, documentation, community, connections, advice, and support, but we’ve had to stop short of providing money. Now, for the most promising people and ideas, we can go all the way.
Increase the diversity of founders in the Redwood community.
- Over the last nine months, Redwood-based startups have raised more than $20M, but the demographics of those founders skew heavily white and male. I'd like to create more opportunities for Black devs, women devs, and other underrepresented devs within our broader community to travel down the startup path.
Encourage climate-focused software.
- Climate change is the existential crisis of our time. We need more ideas and progress in every sector, including software-based approaches to preventing emissions and sequestering carbon.
The Redwood Startup Fund is intended to invest broadly across industries.
The fund will be part of my angel investing practice at Preston-Werner Ventures, where I’ve made early investments in companies like Stripe, Netlify, Snyk, Prisma, Supabase, PlanetScale, Gitpod, Railway, Snaplet, StackBlitz, FaunaDB, Stellate (formerly GraphCDN), Retool, and many other dev tools.
We also invest heavily in climate technology companies like Beta (electric airplanes), Mote Hydrogen (green hydrogen & permanent carbon sequestration), and Prometheus Fuels (air to carbon-neutral fuel). Though this is a limited set of sectors, the Redwood Startup Fund is intended to invest broadly across industries and I will be engaging others in helping us evaluate potential startups.
founder Preston-Werner Ventures
founder and former CEO of GitHub
Deploy capital over the next 12 months.
The Redwood Startup Fund will deploy capital at a rapid pace of investment, aiming for 2–4 investments per month.
We hope that some of these checks will go to individuals that would otherwise not have any means to even try their hand at doing a startup. If we are first money in, even before incorporation, we're totally fine with that, and hope to help folks reach the stage where they can raise a pre-seed.
Is there such a thing as pre-pre-seed? Maybe we can call it the “existential round”.
Redwood Startup Fund Application
How do I apply?
Below you will find the application questionnaire. It is plain text so you can copy it and fill it out in your favorite text editor.
When complete, email it to us at email@example.com.
Questions? Please see our FAQ below.
IMPORTANT: Founders can be from anywhere in the world (e.g. do not have to be US-based), but you must have or be able to create a United States company for investment.
This is possible in most places in the world via Stripe Atlas.
PRIVACY: The information you send us will only be used to evaluate your application.
> Your name
> Your contact email
> Company Name
> Company URL (if it exists)
> Video URL
(We highly encourage you to record a video or demo explaining your product or vision.)
> In a single sentence, what does your company do?
> Where are you located?
> How long have you been working on your idea?
> What is your company's origin story?
> Who are the founders? Anyone employees yet?
(Feel free to share web & social links too.)
> What cool things have you made before this?
> What would an investment make possible?
> How do you anticipate using RedwoodJS?
> Who is your customer?
> Who else is doing this (or similar) and how are you different?
> How will you make money?
> What else becomes possible because of your startup's success?
> We're prioritizing underrepresented founders. Does this describe you?
> We're prioritizing climate startups. Do you have a climate angle?
> Anything else?
Apply To The Redwood Startup Fund
Please answer and email us the completed application questionnaire to firstname.lastname@example.org.Apply Today
Frequently asked questions
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email us and we'll will get back to you.
- Did you receive my application? When can I expect a reply?
- We'll send an auto-reply when you send your application in via email. And we promise to get back to you in a few weeks.
- Where can I find more info on SAFE and how to setup a United States company for investment?
SAFE stands for “Simple Agreement for Future Equity. SAFEs give an investor the right to convert their SAFE into equity at the company’s next equity financing round or liquidation event.
Services such as Stripe Atlas, AngelList Stack, AngelList SAFE.new, Clerky, Carta (and Carta Incorporation Resources), and Mercury may help you learn and setup the necessary entity for investment.
- I've already raised money. Can I still apply?
- Yes, the Redwood Startup Fund is fundraising agnostic. You can apply if you have never raised, are raising, or have already completed a round. The Fund is intended to invest outside other fundraising activity.
- Do I have to be in the United States to apply?
- Founders can be from anywhere in the world (e.g. do not have to be US-based), but you must have or be able to create a United States company for investment.
- What if I don’t meet any of your preferred criteria. Can I still apply?
- Yes. While we prioritize for diverse founder backgrounds and climate tech, if you are using (or plan to use) RedwoodJS as a primary component in your startup's stack and looking for a $25k-$50k investment, this is for you!
- If I am not currently using RedwoodJS, can I still apply if I rebuild my existing POC/MVP/Product?
- It's important to us that you use RedwoodJS for right reasons. While having the Startup Funds available to you is a good reason, it shouldn't be the primary reason to use RedwoodJS to build your startup. Think about your choice of technologies and if you think RedwoodJS fits, then and we can review in future.
- What's the difference between the Redwood Startup Fund and the Redwood Startup Club?
The Redwood Startup Club is a diverse network of global founders who use Redwood in their product's tech stack. It's an opportunity for founders to support founders, share resources and learning, and collaborate with the Redwood Core Team. There are no requirements other than using Redwood, although members get out what you put into the group.
For more information and to apply to the club, please visit our Redwood Startup Club page.
- We're a nonprofit. Can we apply?
The Redwood Startup Fund invests in for-profit companies. That said, you may still want to apply for the following reasons:
If your organization provides climate-focused solutions built with RedwoodJS, we're still interested in hearing about you and your solutions. We may be able to connect you to philanthropic networks.
Or perhaps you currently have a nonprofit, open-source solution and are considering a for profit product built atop that offering.
If so, then perhaps consider applying to the Redwood Startup Club to get connected with other founders and builders. That way we keep in touch and are ready to consider an investment when you're ready.