Branded VC

Back in March, I published a post highlighting bold marketing, community, and value-add initiatives created by startup investors. I really enjoyed exploring the space, and I continued to follow developments as they happened.

Andreessen Horowitz started a podcast. AngelList launched Funds. RRE backed a Bitcoin lobby. Y Combinator started How to Start a Startup. Collaborative Fund started Alignment Holdings and partnered with Circle Up to fund B Corps.  FirstMark launched its third event series, this one focused on design.  And so much more.

It's tempting to diminish these types of efforts, but I believe they deserve credit. At their core, startup investors provide money. It's the startup teams that build the products and businesses. But investor initiatives serve as a catalyst. They educate, create awareness, affect policy, and bring people together. This is important because it's fueling a startup ecosystem, which is stronger and more vibrant as a result. 

Three weeks ago I created a Twitter account called BrandedVC as a mini side project to surface these types of initiatives—the most creative things happening in startup investing. I think the account might appeal to several different groups, including:

  • Investors: to get informed about and inspired by what their peers (viz. competitors) are doing. This is important because VCs should play offense, not defense in attracting startups and LPs. They shouldn't just rely on the firehose of emails that everyone else is also receiving. 
  • Startups: to discover opportunities, and identify investors that provide value beyond the money that they invest. This is important because founders should do everything they can to help their company succeed, including partnering with the best possible people
  • LPs: to discover investors that differentiate and align with their interests. This is important in an environment where most LPs are unable to invest in the top performing funds.

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