System.One

To you entrepreneurs, creators, engineers, coders, designers, rebels and optimists — hello from System.One!

A year ago I set out to build a new, nimble venture capital firm designed to help entrepreneurs develop their idea from its earliest infancy. I’ve spoken to founders, angel investors, venture capital firms and friends on both sides of the Atlantic, testing my hypothesis for a new fund. I am grateful for the support and constant encouragement I’ve received. The product is System.One, a new pre-seed venture capital firm with €8.2m in commitments. It’s core focus is to enable founders on their mission to deliver early ideas, innovative projects and prototypes into proud first products.

One of my key convictions in creating System.One is that the best entrepreneurs and startups can build something meaningful and of high-quality with very few resources. In addition, more and more founders are conscious that raising too much money pre-product and pre-traction can come at a cost. You give away an outsized degree of autonomy, and also the freedom of deliberately shutting something down or altering your path; the more capital involved, the harder it is to admit that something does not work.

How System.One will operate

“Too early” is an answer you’ll probably never hear from us since it is exactly what we do (“who else is investing?” is another one by the way). We want to talk to you when you are just getting started on your new venture — having a first set of customers or a fully-fledged go-to-market strategy is not one of our requirements. We understand the crazy challenges you face and most importantly we want to enable and support you on your journey.

Pre-seed simply means initial capital to founders, the first institutional money invested into a project or company. System.One likes to be the first €100,000 to €300,000 in financing rounds less than €500,000 total. We’re happy to lead or co-lead syndicated financings — or even to be the only capital a company raises at this stage.

What matters most to us is to gain the trust of founders. We don’t claim to be co-founders ourselves or that we can complement your team, but we’ll make sure to work side-by-side with you and for you. Our interest is to seize opportunities with high-quality technical founders who are building intriguing and defining products and companies. In other words, product and tech risk are core to what we do, not a problem we seek to eliminate.

System.One seizes early opportunities on technical founders who are building intriguing and defining products and companies.

I want to finish with a perspective I too had to learn, overcoming a certain temperamental impatience. It takes a long time to build sustainable, profitable companies, capable of a lasting impact on markets and society. We often act too shortsightedly, too driven by limited incentives. But the game we’re playing takes time, and great confidence and patience in the face of doubters.

With System.One, I want to build a firm that shares in this journey with early stage founders. This is what matters the most to me personally and I hope it will to everyone System.One works with.

Take care,

Max

max@systemone.vc

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