My business partner and I own a startup (company A) that we created, and we’re currently raising funds.
Also, we know a talented accomplished bizdev girl who wants to start a ‘fund’ to provide capital to an accelerator to nuture startups. She has access to investors who will inject capital, my partner and I will run the accelerator to vet deals and attract founders. So their will be a ‘fund’ and an ‘accelerator’ collectively known as the ‘group’.
All three of us will get salaries from the fund and we collectively would own 20-30% of the ‘group’ whereas the investors would own 70-80% of the ‘group’. So the three members collectively own part of the ‘group’ vs individual companies. The ‘group’ owns stakes in each company it ‘accelerates’.
OK… long story short…. we are bringing in Company A (that my partner and I started and own), but the bizdev girl wants a piece of Company A. Her argument is that its not worth her time to push for attracting investors to start the ‘group’, if she has no ownership of Company A.
Our view is that company A will likely be the first company to receive capital from the ‘fund’. She will be allocated her appropriate ownership in Company A through her portion ownership of the overall group and nothing more.
What do people think of this? Should she be part owner of our Company A and get founder ownership if she is trying to build a ‘group’ using our Company A as an exciting portfolio option for investors? Or should be simply continue trying to raise funds to start a group and consider Company A a nuetral company that simply could be the first one?
My view is that we all own part of ‘the group’ – but if any of the founding members of this ‘group’ bring in their own company then they should keep their founder ownership in their company and the other members of the group simply take some effective ownership through their stake in the ‘group’.
In short, can you start a ‘fund’ with people when some people are founders of a company that may come through the fund when others are not?