Our Collaborative Approach to Investing

Our people-first approach to pre-seed investing

Fiona Hamilton
Boreal Ventures


At Boreal Ventures, we think that people are of central importance to making great investments, because we believe great change comes from great people. This notion was kept in mind when establishing our process for making pre-seed investments. We opted to adopt a collaborative approach with other players in the ecosystem so that we could leverage their expertise to support the best possible companies at the pre-seed stage.

We first utilized this approach earlier this summer when making pre-seed investments in Centech companies, and we wanted to share some of what we learned from this experience.

Our Approach

First, we collaborated with the Centech Entrepreneurs in Residence to invite the hub’s top companies who were seeking an investment to pitch to a panel of judges.

We formed two judging panels: one focused on healthcare, the other focused on AI and Industry 4.0. The panels were composed of both successful operators and VC investors in these respective industries. During each 40-minute presentation, the entrepreneurs made a short pitch to the judges and then interacted with them during a Q&A session. The panelists were able to provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights into both the key strengths of their business, and the potential challenges their business might face.

In addition to providing the companies with valuable feedback, the panelists also played an important role in our due diligence process. By including later-stage investors in the conversation at the pre-seed stage, we were able to better assess their interest in following the companies as they mature. We also leveraged the industry knowledge of panelists to accelerate our decision-making process. The dynamic exchange of ideas and opinions between panelists helped us quickly build conviction around a few companies.

From this investment process, we are thrilled to announce our investments in 5 companies: Statera Medical, Hookmotion, ViTAA Medical Solutions, Dyze Design and JITbase. We look forward to partnering with these businesses and to helping them grow.

A Successful First Iteration

The feedback we received from both the judges and the companies that participated in this investment process was extremely positive. Overall, both the judges and the entrepreneurs felt that the longer pitch format allowed for in-depth and high quality conversations about the businesses.

Our goal is to find the best possible venture partners to support our companies as they mature. By working with an extensive network of post-seed-stage investors, we aim to bridge the gap between early and later-stage investors.

We want to thank all of the judges who participated in the panels, as well as all the entrepreneurs who took the time to pitch to them.

At Boreal Ventures, we strongly believe in investing in great people who are solving fundamental and difficult problems. We think that to best support these businesses, it is crucial to involve all members of the ecosystem even at the earliest stages.