Real value to real game-changers
At Prototype Capital, we're on a mission to help young ambitious founders around the country build lasting 100-year businesses around products that change the status quo by 10x.
Here's how we work
We believe in radical transparency
We add real value
We believe that there are great entrepreneurs outside of just places like Silicon Valley. To help empower them and help build the ecosystem in more recently developed startup hubs, our fund has a decentralized structure with partners at universities and cities around the nation.
If you're looking to get in touch with us, the best way in is to get in touch with your regional partner (or if you're interested in being a partner in your area, let us know!).
We spend most of our time advising
After exiting a company in the past, we've learned that money is cheap but good guidance is hard to come by. We're here to help you make the tough decisions as "Virtual CEOs." We hold biweekly scheduled meetings with you and are available on-call anytime to help you:
We invest $10k-$100k checks
We generally like to chip in follow-on capital (using a SAFE financial instrument) into companies started by founders younger than 25. Most of our value isn't in the cash we provide but rather our mentorship and our connections. We're interested in any company building a product that's better than the status quo by 10x but spend most of our time looking into the following spaces:
Prototype Corporate Connect Program
To change the world, large corporations and agile startups need to work together.
We're here to help make those partnerships possible.
How our Corporate Connect Demo Days Work
We run quarterly demo days in NY, SF, LA, and PHL connecting Fortune 500 Companies with portfolio companies in particular verticals. Our companies then have a chance to work with, pilot, and sell to these corporate partners.
The Dream Team
All of our partners are successful entrepreneurs, hustlers, engineers, or venture capitalists.
Our team has exited companies and been part of major VC deals like Dollar Shave Club.
UCLA / LA
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Nandeet an Edison scholar, 30 under 30 for University of California, and an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in History and Pre-Medicine. His highlights during his time at UCLA are highlighted by founding and leading an entrepreneurial organization (Venture: The Entrepreneur Society) and building Pyur Solutions, a company selling organic pesticide solutions. During his time at UCLA, he worked at various VC firm including Anthos Capital, Machine Shop Ventures, Science Inc. and Space Angels Network; at these firms he was able to work on major deals like Dollar Shave Club. Beyond that his experience consists of researching TBI (traumatic brain injury) at NeuralAnalytics and completing various internships for companies such as Samsung, Dell, Ubisoft, and T-mobile. He is a contributor at TechCrunch, HuffPost, and StartupGrind.
UPENN and WHARTON / PHILLY
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Rajat has been called "One of the top 15 college entrepreneurs in the nation" by Forbes and at Penn, Rajat built and sold ThirdEye, a company dubbed as "Philadelphia's Top College Startup"; ThirdEye was a product that empowers visually impaired persons by verbally recognizing what they are looking at using computer vision. Rajat believes that all schools should encourage entrepreneurship and highlights his views on how we can fix our currently broken education system in his book What High School Didn’t Teach Me: A Recent Graduate’s Perspective on How High Schools are Killing Creativity. He is currently a contributor at Forbes and HuffPost. In the past he worked as the Interim COO of the IoT startup MainTool, was part of the Equity Crowdfunding team at Indiegogo, was a Kleiner Perkins KPCB Fellow, and worked in VC at Red and Blue Ventures (Warby Parker and Jet.com). He attended the University of Pennsylvania for a BS in Economics from Wharton and a MS in Engineering from Penn Engineering.
COLUMBIA / NYC
Director of Prototype Corporate Connect and Partner
Austin Kaidi is an MD student at the Columbia University College of Physician and Surgeons. He received his BS in Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics from UCLA and his MSc Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. While at UCLA, Austin conducted extensive research in vaccine development, and he is now passionate about integrating technology and the life-sciences to create disrupting bio-tech and health-tech. Austin is the co-founder of Logiqüe Studios, a boutique PR firm that helps secure positive press for start-ups.
Vibhav Altekar is an undergraduate student at UC Davis studying Electrical Engineering. Being an Intel ISEF winner in 2014 for semiconductor applications to pharmaceuticals, he is still an active member in the research community. He also won an international award from CleanTech for a “Solution to Pollution”: Using Winogradzky columns to generate electricity. With the goal of domain expertise in AI and hardware, Vibhav currently is a KPCB Fellow, completed internships at Twitter and Intel, and is working on research applying deep learning to protein inference. In addition to academic accolades, Vibhav has represented the USA Men’s cricket team at the Under15 and Under19 levels.
VILLANOVA / PHILLY
Ted Funk is an undergraduate student at the Villanova School of Business majoring in Finance and minoring in Entrepreneurship. He is currently running his clothing brand Sonder, is involved with the Be Positive foundation seeking to make a difference in the lives of kids with pediatric cancer, and is a member of the Equity Society at Villanova, a society that actively manages a portfolio of securities for the University. Ted also has experience in law after spending a summer working for Wilkinson Law LLP. He is also one of the Founding Fathers of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity at Villanova University.
USC / LA
John Llamas is an undergraduate at the USC Marshall School of Business studying Business Administration. As a Hispanic Heritage Foundation and ESA Innovation Fellow, John was recognized by the Obama Administration and members of Congress for designing an app that makes learning to code more engaging for young teens. He is an alumnus of MIT’s cryptocurrency bootcamp and has been a top contestant in stock competitions at Investopedia and Goldman Sachs. Currently, John is in the process of validating a FinTech startup that will make credit more inclusive for college students. He has interned for Pacific Advisors and EY and is an active member of the Trojan Entrepreneurship Network and the Association of Latino Professionals For America.
Aashay is finishing up his undergraduate studies in Bioengineering and Tech Management at the University of Illinois and is headed to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in 2018. He co-founded and is CEO of Vitrix Health, a medical device and software company looking to vertically integrate medical hardware with machine learning for the developing world. With 4 years of basic science and translational research experience in biochemistry and medical imaging, he comes to Prototype Capital with experience in the bench-to-bedside pathway. He is also a University Senator and Chancellor's Scholar at UIUC.
Bill Dong is a junior studying Enterprise Risk Management and Economics at Pennsylvania State University. He has previously conducted due diligence on various companies for investors, analysed various investment opportunities as a financial analyst, and worked as business development for the California based startup PeerTime. Bill is currently the adviser to two very early stage startups tackling artificial intelligence and content curation, as well as a Director of the International Business Association at Smeal College of Business.
BABSON / BOSTON
Jake Deutsch is an Undergraduate student at Babson College, the top ranked Entrepreneurship school for over two decades, where he is placing his focus on Entrepreneurship and Technology. Jake pursued his first start-up at the age of 14 called “Loop.” Loop was an online platform that tailored the user experience to high school students in order to simplify the organization of online documents and communication. Through Jake’s work with numerous other start-ups, he has obtained a sturdy base of influential individuals that work for some of the country’s largest companies in various industries.
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Jonah is a sophomore studying Computer Science at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. He is a fellow of Michigan’s Entrepreneurs Leadership Program, which provides training and mentorship for Michigan’s top aspiring entrepreneurs. Jonah is also a founder of UpRound Venture Capital, a student organization that educates students on VC and engages the broader venture community with the startup ecosystems of Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Grand Rapids. This past summer, Jonah split his time between the operations team at Rocket Fiber, a gigabit-speed internet startup in Downtown Detroit, and shadowing senior leadership at Quicken Loans, the second largest overall retail lender in the United States. Additionally, Jonah has experience as a founder and is passionate about the application of innovative technology, building communities, and connecting people.
We're quickly onboarding more partners. The goal of course is to scale our mission around the country and then the world. However, to make sure we don't prematurely scale and that we have processes in place, we're taking our time. The goal is to expand to five new campuses each month. Feel free to reach out if you think you know the entrepreneurial ecosystem on your campus and if you think you can add value to our portfolio companies.
We believe in advisors who actually provide value and help you scale your company
(rather than just being on your VC's website but never actually talking to you)
Currently the Executive Vice President at Machine Shop Ventures, Kiel previously worked at Creative Artists Agency in Entertainment Marketing and International Corporate Development focused on global expansion initiatives. Prior to CAA, Kiel helped grow an influencer marketing startup to be the on Inc. Fastest Growing Company list for 3 consecutive years. Prior to working with the startup, Kiel began his career at JPMorgan Investment Banking for 4 years, working and living in New York, London, and Johannesburg. Kiel attended the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton undergraduate program, majoring in Economics.
DFJ (Formerly Pritzker Group)
Chirag is based in Pritzker Group Venture Capital’s Los Angeles office. He is actively involved in the sourcing, diligence and oversight of several companies, including Casper, Dollar Shave Club, HelloGiggles, The Honest Company, Mapbox, PureWow, Retention Science, and Women.com. Prior to Pritzker Group, Chirag held roles at SV Angel, where he focused on investing in consumer internet companies and The Honest Company. Chirag holds B.A. in economics and diaspora studies from Swarthmore College and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in entrepreneurial management.
Kabir is based in the center of Silicon Valley while working at Google as a Program Manager for the Google for Work org to help bring order to the chaos of prioritizing, resourcing, and managing a portfolio of projects within one of the most used enterprise collaboration tools. He was born and raised in Southern California and quickly moved up to the bay to obtain his B.A. in Business Management Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. At 20, post-graduation, Kabir began his career as an Analyst for Google Search; he also founded Brush with Bamboo, a consumer product providing one of few alternatives to plastic toothbrushes.
Powerplant Ventures, Steamboat Ventures, Technorati
Dan is a the founder and CEO of 11X and managing partner at KnightX. Previously, he was a General Partner of Steamboat Ventures and co-founder of Technorati. Dan has spent the last 20 years in technology and finance as an investor, entrepreneur and operator. Dan’s prior investments include Playdom, acquired by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), MoveNetworks, acquired by EchoStar Corp. (NASDAQ: SATS), and Greystripe, acquired by ValueClick (NASDAQ: VCLK). Dan received a BS in computer science as a distinguished graduate of the US Naval Academy in 1986, and received an MBA in finance from The Wharton School in 1998.
Greg Selkoe is the founder of streetwear retailer Karmaloop.com. He was born and raised in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Selkoe has a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University. Selkoe started his career as an Urban Planner for the city of Boston (Boston Redevelopment Authority) before he started Karmaloop.com in 2000. In 2012 Selkoe was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Ecommerce Category for N.E. In 2009 Selkoe was selected as one of the top 25 most influential entrepreneurs under 35 in the United States and was invited to participate in a White House summit for young business leaders.
Eddie started his career in New York where he worked at UBS Investment Bank and Goldman Sachs. He transitioned into marketing at Adobe before switching to the entertainment industry at Live Nation/Ticketmaster, where he led partnerships in corporate concert strategy and marketing. Eddie has since founded MentorMint, a marketplace for students to receive online career coaching from professionals in their field. Eddie served as student-body president of the University of Southern California MBA program, and holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Edward Lando is the Co-Founder of Horizons School of Technology that finds the most promising young people around the world and gives them all the advantages they need to launch their successful careers in tech. He is an active angel investor in San Francisco and New York and has invested in startups like Apptopia, ZeroCater, Sawyer, The Infatuation, and FrenchFounders. In the past he was the Co-Founder of GovPredict (YC S'14), the Co-Founder of Black V Neck Club, and an intern of StartX. He graduated from Wharton.
Noah Ready-Campbell company Twice (www.liketwice.com) was bought by eBay, raised $23m from Andreesen Horowitz, and Noah scaled the company up to over 50 people. He has been named both Forbes 30 Under 30 and Inc Magazine 30 Under 30; Noah completed his BS Econ from Wharton, BS/MS in CS from Penn and was previously a product manager at Google.
Young Basile LLP
Kayvon is a serial entrepreneur having co-founded two VC backed startups and is also a practicing patent and startup law attorney. As a patent attorney, Kayvon has prosecuted hundreds of patents for Fortune 100s and startups across a wide range of industries including software, cloud storage, autonomous vehicles, MEMS, sensors, semiconductors, healthtech, and wearables. As a startup attorney, Kayvon advises a wide range of startups from incubators such as YC, Highway1, Plug&Play Tech Center, Rock Health, Wharton VIP, and Harvard i-lab. In addition to his legal insights, Kayvon has a wealth of product experiencing as his first startup launched a successful product on Facebook and his second startup garnered successful FDA clearance for an implantable device. Kayvon holds a BS in Bioengineering from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), a JD (cum laude, IP concentration) from the University of San Diego School of Law, and an MBA from the The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
We work hard with our partners to really help startups with the core services they need to get up and running fast.
Our Advisors and Partners Were Raised In Success
Here are some of the companies our partners and advisors have built or worked at
Sound cool? Let us know if you're a founder who's interested in working with us, if you want to be a campus partner and help expand our vision to your university, or if you're a corporation that wants to be part of our Connect program.