Bryce Roberts
Strong Words
Published in
4 min readNov 1, 2019


Nearly 5 years ago we set up a sort of sandbox to begin iterating on different models and messages for a new kind of risk capital. One that stood in stark contrast to the growth at all costs blitzscale based model which had become the dominant path for startup founders to follow. Over those years we’ve tested and tried different structures for investment, different narratives for founders and different cadences for deploying capital. We’ve made a lot of mistakes but we’ve also stumbled into something that seems to be working in ways we could have only hoped when we started.

Where in years past we’ve iterated on terms and timing of investments, in 2020 we plan to shift our focus to a decidedly different set of opportunities, namely; refining our investment process and supercharging the broader ecosystem of entrepreneurs and investors that’s been developing around the model.

Some of the changes and programs we have for 2020 might be jarring or shocking or both. The end goal with each of these efforts is simply to find and fund more founders who can benefit from our investment approach and contribute to our growing community while at the same time honing an unrivaled application and investment experience.

2020 Application Timeline

Applications for our next round of investments will open January 1st, 2020 at 9 am MST and will close January 2nd at 9 am MST.

The site has been updated with a countdown timer to mark the opening of our application window. Many more updates to the site will be coming throughout November and December. If you’d like to be notified of those updates, we’d strongly encourage you to sign up for our mailing list and/or follow us on Twitter.

24hrs to apply is not a lot of time so we will be doing a lot to lay the groundwork over the coming months to help founders prepare.

Given the tight time frame for applying, we plan to make our application available on December 1st. This year we will have a version of the application that can be iterated on and saved before being submitted when applications open on January 1st.

Our goal with this compressed application window is to deliver an unrivaled experience we simply couldn’t with our wide windows and in-person tours of the past.

Taking our learnings from previous years we’ve designed a human-centered investment process that moves founders from application to funded in weeks, not months (or years). No piles of paperwork or countless coffee meetings. With 2020, you’ll receive direct feedback and an indication of interest in 2 weeks or less with clearly defined steps to close.

Another opportunity this compressed window affords us?

We plan to add a second round of applications that will open June 1st, 2020.

Over the life of we’ve alternated between yearly batches and rolling investments. We think this annual multi-batch approach will combine the best of both and are excited to roll it out in 2020.

2020 Info Sessions

First up, we’ll be hosting a weekly live Q&A session that anyone, anywhere can join via Zoom. Our plan is to have at least one current founder join each session to share their experiences working with us and answer relevant questions from founders considering applying for 2020. We’ve posted our dates for November with an option to RSVP and submit questions you’d like us to address.

Additionally, we plan to host a weekly block of private 15 minute 1 on 1 sessions where founders can ask questions specific to their business or take the time to just get to know us. Our goal is a 2-hour block once a week and you can sign up to grab times in November now. Note- please only grab one time slot per company. That should be obvious, but you’d be surprised.

2020 Scout Program

Since our launch, we’ve had the good fortune of being overwhelmed with founders, investors, operators and onlookers asking how they can support the work we’re doing with Candidly, we’ve never had a very satisfying answer for them. In 2020 we’re hoping to change that through the launch of a Scout program that we’ve been developing.

As you might imagine, our Scout program will be a bit…different. Unlike other programs, it will be cash-based and will have a laser focus on educating and training our Scouts on how to develop their own track records as aligned investors.

The goal of our program is to activate all of our supporters currently on the sidelines and accelerate the expansion of an ecosystem. If we can put our Scouts in a position to become potential co-investors, at best, or to start developing track records as sources for quality dealflow, at least, the promise of will become the reality of that much faster.

Long term our goal is to make participation in the Scout program open to anyone interested in joining. In the short term, we will need to take a measured approach to rolling it out. If you have an interest in joining now, or down the road, you can keep up to date on developments and receive an invitation to join by submitting your information here.

That’s it for now. We have a lot more to share in the coming weeks. For now, join an Info Session, sign up for a 1 on 1, become a Scout and help spread the word.

January 1st will be here before we know it!