Why Eigenspace exists

Our mission is to help product focused founders go faster and avoid common pitfalls related to funding their startup. We believe the children are our future, i.e., it is about the people, the connections between people, and about helping them discover what to build, even if it means investing in what initially seems like only the people.

2021: Eigenspace launches

In 2021 we started our program with the aim to invest in 10-20 startups per year that tend to be tech heavy, scalable software products.

2022: Experimentation and discovering community

With our University of Waterloo Co-op student, Melissa Gibbon, in the lead of a new initiative called the Dropout Fund we worked with 12 students on their co-op term alongside founders in our third cohort.

What started to form as a result is a community of Waterloo students and alumni, building and supporting world class companies. We decided to double down on this community.

2023 and beyond: Building world class companies with people that share a special connection… Waterloo.

Waterloo is a people, not a place. Those that attend the University of Waterloo are dispersed globally in many different roles from founder to global CEO to researchers to media personalities. The talent shares a common experience but lacks a way to connect and leverage that global reach.

Eigenspace is Venture Studio + Community + Fund for Waterloo Students and Alumni.

What is our motivation?

As founders of other programs, startups, communities, and services over the 15 years (30 years for Nigel) we have helped transform the Canadian startup landscape by focusing on early stage founders. Over time we have seen a few of them go on and create some amazing companies. Some work. Most do not.

Your path to success is not identical to how someone else did it, but I can be informed by their experience.

As we see Canada's startup landscape evolve, there is less and less people investing in the misfits, the fringe, or those that simply do not 'belong' in any group. Support has moved upstream and developed expectations that are discouraging for ambitious founders without the right connections or relationships. Founders are doing things to 'fit in' that are unnatural to them and almost always have consequences later.

This makes starting and finding your path a lot harder. It makes diversity and inclusive a lot harder. We see it as a massive gap in the market place.

We started Eigenspace as an ambitious attempt to free founder support from the need to manage multiple stakeholder attention or Limited Partner expectations and align the 'startup school' with long term founder success.

Our principles are not that different than those that guided our success creating non-profit organizations in the past:

  1. Community is the framework.
  2. Believe in founders.
  3. Hold each other accountable.

What that means to founders is that we intend to deliver on supporting you through the start of your journey and we hope that you want us with you for the long term.

We hope that you open to a conversation to test us out. See if we are what we type.

Eigenspace is a venture practice that coaches and invests in early stage companies. We are usually the first money in and stand with the founder through their Series A. Our startup school program helps founders understand the path of venture capital and the pace they must work at. You can then decide if you want to enter our acceleration program and seek investment from us.

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