Propel Ventures

Propel Ventures is about seeding “micro-ventures” that have the potential to become breakthrough products, and become viable, scalable companies. We act as a virtual incubator for new product ideas – providing seed investment, project development support, company structuring, advising, mentoring and consulting services to new and existing companies.

A Different Approach:

Instead of the typical venture approach: Finding entrepreneurs with ideas and products, and then finding product-market fit, and iterating – we start with the market opportunity. This opportunity can be validated but often only by people with deep domain expertise or a deep understanding of where users will be in the future (not something you can ask customers or take a survey). Then we fund the development of the initial product and business model. And once there is initial validation – then we find the right entrepreneur – usually a seasoned, serial entrepreneur – transform it all into a growth venture.

There is no usual project or deal. Often our best “value-add” comes from being able to help entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of the idea or venture – even before the product or market is fully fleshed-out. While initial seed capital is important – most new ideas and new companies benefit from our help in developing and validating the idea and the market, as well as in identifying and managing the product development resources and early market development. In other words, we help ensure it is the right idea, transform that idea into a product, and identify the right partnerships and early customers to get the new venture off to a solid start.

Company Focus 
Generally we prefer very early stage companies when talking about developing new products or addressing new markets. For advisory and strategic relationships we often help companies preparing for a series-A investment round, a new product launch or for partnering with a larger company.

Technology Focus
We tend to prefer technologies in the following broad areas:
  • Web-Based and SAAS style products,
  • Mobile products,
  • Media related technologies,
  • Consumer software, some B2B software,
  • Technologies that incorporate or commercialize concepts such as
    • auction theory
    • decision theory
    • predictive analytics
    • artificial intelligence
    • crowd-sciences
  • Energy management and related consumer-facing products
  • Digital media – platforms.
  • Products that tap into fundamental human behavior – including gamification and advanced social networking products.
  • Wearables – software products and services
  • Online Education tools and products.
Market Focus
We prefer consumer markets that focus on either emerging new behaviors, brand new markets, or older markets that are ripe to be disrupted by new technologies, new business models and new approaches.
Areas usually outside our interest:
  • Service businesses, consulting businesses
  • Businesses that rely primarily on patents and proprietary IP for their business model
  • Pure social ventures
  • Pure B2B products or services.
  • Lifestyle businesses
  • Retail or local businesses
  • Franchising
  • Advertising businesses
  • Media/content development or production
  • Games or pure gaming
  • Companies or entrepreneurs merely wanting introductions or connections to other investors.
Geographic Focus
While we’re most interested in opportunities that we can transform into something big and successful – we’re based in Phoenix, Arizona – most of our activities are focused in the Southwest United States, California and New York. But if the idea, venture, team or entrepreneur is promising enough, why let a little thing like distance get in the way of a potential opportunity.

Contact us and start a dialog. You never know where it will lead.