Must I be a current UC student?
Not at all! While a majority of our investments will be in startups founded by current students, we welcome and encourage applications from alumni entrepreneurs. Our only requirement is that at least one founding team member be affiliated as a student (any type of student), faculty member, or alumni of any of the University of California schools.
Do I need to have incorporated a company?
We will need to formally invest through the proper legal structures, so yes. We can help you with this process, however. But before that, here are some online resources to help you get started:
Do you only invest in pre-seed companies?
Arrow Capital is focused on very early-stage startups ranging from angel investing to series Seed, with a focus on series Pre-Seed funding. If you are raising a series A round or beyond, please contact us and we will refer the investment to our parent fund, Bow Capital.
Does Arrow focus on any particular industry?
For companies in our range, we believe it is better to be vertical agnostic. We welcome startups from all industries in order for us to support entrepreneurs from across the UC system and across industries.
Can I receive funding from other VCs?
Absolutely. We want our startups to build the strongest possible investor base. We use uncapped SAFEs with a 20% discount, as discussed below (see “How does Arrow invest?”), which are very standard amongst VCs making early-stage investments. These investment vehicles are very founder friendly and, because they are so common, are quite amenable to other investors you hope to raise from.
What do you look for in the founders you back?
We could give you a long laundry list of characteristics, but you will have probably heard them all already. In general, the traits we most admire are grit, a passion for innovation, and a proven ability to execute.
What can I expect post Arrow Capital investment?
Whatever you want! We are here to offer as much support, mentorship and connection facilitation as you would like. Some of the things we can offer:
Funding (current round & future rounds)
Connections to alumni, startups & accelerators
Operational / strategic guidance
Does Arrow Capital provide future funding?
Arrow Capital commits funds through independent decision-making. After investing in a company, we have the ability to invest further funds if we feel the later follow-on investment is appropriate. This will be a case-by-case determination between the founders of the portfolio company, the Arrow student partners, and the Bow advising team.
What kinds of non-capital benefits does Arrow Capital provide?
Arguably Arrow’s greatest asset is our strong connection to the UC system and strong relationships with campus programs, faculty, and accelerators. We look to leverage these resources to help teams source talent, find learning and testing opportunities, seek feedback, and join accelerators.
By leveraging our connections, we help companies scout for new team members, company hires, and interns. Starting at UC Berkeley and networking out to other UC campuses, Arrow can help connect your team to talented students throughout the UC system.
“Operational involvement”. Tell me more?
We appreciate that every startup wants a certain kind of investor relationship. For those startups wanting operational or strategic guidance, we are happy to help directly if we can, or alternatively refer you to someone in our network.
How does Arrow Capital invest?
Arrow invests through SAFEs, which are widely considered to be one of the simplest and fastest ways to raise early-stage capital, often without sacrificing a lot of equity. There are more materials that you should check out (below), but the main point is that a SAFE does not become an equity investment until the company raises a priced round of financing. Our goal at Arrow is to ensure your team doesn’t spend precious time or resources during your early days on negotiating the terms of a financing. We use industry-standard SAFEs to ensure that your process we can get you funds quickly.
We’ve provided some more materials on SAFEs here:
(Author credit: Josh Ephraim, the author of the Medium blog posts linked on this page, is an associate at Gunderson Dettmer and Berkeley JD/MBA ‘17.)
How many investments does Arrow Capital make per school year?
We do not put a quota on the number of investments we make. Investment decisions are made on an individual basis for every startup and how many investments Arrow has made up until that point has no bearing on our decision on whether or not to invest.
How long does the investment process typically take?
From submitting the initial application to receiving an investment decision, the Arrow process typically takes around 4 to 5 weeks, encompassing all evaluation and due diligence. The process will take longer for applications submitted over winter and summer breaks given the nature of our student investment team.
What type of student partners are you looking for?
We are looking for intellectually inquisitive undergraduate or graduate students with a proven ability to think critically and form a sound investment rational based on a logical thought process. If you are passionate about a career in entrepreneurship or venture capital, Arrow will be a phenomenal learning opportunity. Please apply here.
Does a particular background make me better suited to work with Arrow?
Not at all. In fact, we much prefer to have a diverse set of opinions and lively debate during our partner meetings.
For how long and how many hours per week should I expect to be involved with Arrow?
You should consider Arrow Capital a permanent fixture of your university experience. To foster a long term approach to investing, we admit current students who will remain partners throughout their tenure at Berkeley. Expect to spend about 15 hours per week on Arrow related work.
What can I expect during my tenure as a student partner?
An intellectually challenging and rigorous approach to investing
The ability to work closely with startups seeking more operational or strategic guidance
Leadership opportunities to develop and promote Arrow Capital and Bow Capital
Phenomenal career opportunities in both entrepreneurial and venture activities post-graduation.
A deep network of world class investors, entrepreneurs and business minds.
Can non-Berkeley students apply to be student partners?
The Arrow team is based in Berkeley, CA so the application is currently limited to UC Berkeley students.
Where are you based?
We are based on campus at the University of California, Berkeley.
What is Bow Capital?
Founded in 2016 & backed by the University of California’s Endowment fund, Bow Capital is focused on Seed, Series A and beyond deals across the UC system.
What is the UC Endowment Fund?
Not actually a single fund! Collectively, the Investment Office of UC Regents manage in excess of $100bn. For more information, click here.