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Boost VC closes $40M fund as revamped ‘sci-fi’ accelerator (techcrunch.com)
55 points by brayton 6 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

I'm gonna start by saying I know I'll be downvoted to hell because this probably sounds too markety, but this is an honest review. It's amazing to see how far Boost VC has come from tiny investments in crypto companies to larger deals, towards futuristic technology, and that too in the middle of a pandemic.

I went through the Boost program in 2016 and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. I met some of my best friends there, and their motto (be the cockroach) drilled survival into me at a time when another incubation program had left me confused about business priorities. Whenever I feel like I'm slowing down or confused, I still use their Wednesday dinner format and find a group of peers to bring myself back on track and up to speed.

I was in the 2017 program and I agree that it was an amazing experience! As a first time founder, I learnt a huge amount during the 3 months.

Can you share about that Wednesday dinner format?

I don't know if they still use that, but every Wednesday, Boost would host us for dinner and talk about what we'd done, the challenges we'd faced, how far we'd come and discuss how we could help each other out.

It was very informal, and Boost would barely moderate it. But it was always incredibly helpful to talk about our problems, and we'd always want to share better metrics the next week. Getting peer-feedback was great too! The sessions would never last very long, either.

My opinion has been that the real SciFi are extremely unpopular work. For example:

Packet switching was a very unpopular idea by Paul Baran [1], which was invented to be survivable under nuclear attack. Similarly, the theory foundation, queueing theory by people like Leonard Kleinrock [2].

And for anything people imagine to be futuristic or Sci-Fi, it's almost always a clever usage of some foundational tech that has been unnoticed for a long time.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Baran

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Kleinrock

I don’t understand the “revamp” or “sci-fi” terms here.

Does “revamp” mean they do demo day via zoom now?

Does “sci-fi accelerator” just refer to their pre-pandemic willingness to fund blockchain and AR/VR?

We didn't choose the title :) "Boost VC closes $40M fund to continue the same Sci-Fi accelerator for the last 7 years" doesn't have the same appeal.

Revamp: We have been a Sci-Fi accelerator for awhile. But new terms are $500k for 15%.

Sci-Fi: What do you imagine the future to be? Current Tribe 13 include crypto, VR, quantum & biotech.

Sci-Fi - Whatever you imagine that to be

Well glad this got posted here. We just got rejected from Y comb, our tech is sci fi indeed. Alex Garlands made some sci fi that we've built (are building)

Huh, no AI?

I'm with you. As far as I can tell, the changes were less startups, more money per startup. Kinda a revamp?

Wow this is so cool. I went through Boost's first class.

In 2012, my friends and I were throwing around startup ideas because we disliked our full-time jobs out of college. We applied to Boost and it changed our lives. Within a week, we quit our jobs, moved to San Mateo, and lived in the startup hotel they provided. We had no clue what we were doing but Adam and Brayton always had our backs and we learned a lot real fast.

How does a $40mm fund w/ a 2% management fee support ~20 employees ($80,000/head)?

I don't know anything about Boost's structure in particular but there are a few ways to make this work:

1) Management fees stack from one fund to the next and can add up. The article says their last fund was $38M and that this is their 4th fund. So assuming their first two funds were $20M each (no idea if this is the case), you'd get stacked fees of $20M * 2% + $20M * 2% + $38M * 2% + $40M * 2% = $2.36M / year

2) Often VCs will taper their management fee over time. For instance, they might charge 3% the first two years, and then reduce over time, so the average is 2%. A 3% management fee on just the $40M fund would be $1.2M / year.

3) Sometimes VCs will sell a stake in the management company to fund operations. So if you expect a $40M fund to 3x, and the carry was 20%, then the management company would expect a windfall of ($40M * 3 - $40M) * 20% = $16M. The VC might sell a 10% stake in the management company that's due to received this carry for $1M now, in order to hire staff and fund operations.

Hope this helps!

[edited for formatting clarity]

Or the easiest way. We are only a team of 5 :)

That picture is our team with Tribe 13!

Of the 20 employees listed on LinkedIn, several are just Mentors that almost certainly do not take home a full salary with benefits.

Where are you seeing that they have a 20 person team? I don't doubt it, I'm just curious as well. On their website, it only lists four people: https://www.boost.vc/team

Huge congrats to the Boost Team. Brayton and Adam are two of the most grounded and helpful people I've met in the VC space. I'm personally involved in a few of their companies they've introduced me to and love what they're building + the community aspect. Rooting for you guys!

Takes a village. Thanks for being a part of ours!

I work at Hero City, upstairs from Boost. The Boost team is awesome, I often hear them doing wacky chants and yells downstairs, their team is weird and hard working. Makes the whole office more fun.

This looks like a cool accelerator. We plan to apply to it.

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