Utopic Ventures

Idea: Create the Dreamville (or Roc-A-Fella) for startups.

  • I’d start it as my personal label/startup studio, but I’d want to expand and sign more founders.

Types of Deals:

  • Invest: Some founders just need money.
  • Advise: Some founders just need advice.
  • Partner: Some founders need a Shadow Co-Founder.
  • 360 Deal: Some founders want it all.

This work in the Studio would come before any seed funding, accelerators, or even co-founders.

  • Studio → Co-Founders → Pre-Seed → Accelerators → Seed → Series A, etc.
    • We’ll help you skip one or more steps and potentially avoid outside funding entirely.

Problem: Most founders own less than 50% of their company by their seed round.

  • 1 co-founder + 1 pre-seed round = 50%+ dilution.

Solution: Utopic will be your co-founder + first investor for 20%.

  • Minimizing early dilution maximizes founder control over the vision and direction of their startup.

Mission: Be the first investor and Shadow Co-Founder to the most promising founders.

  • Goal: Be the world’s earliest angel investor.

Expansion: Back my founders’ entire portfolios, not just specific startups.

  • Giving my founders the freedom to take many shots on goal and winning whenever they win.

Opportunity: Encourage the best founders to create their own startup studios.

  • This solves the fundamental misalignment between founders and investors:
    • Founders shouldn’t have to go all-in on each idea.
    • Investors should back founders long-term, not just for one startup.

Vision: Organize a community of ambitious optimists to take on the World’s Biggest Problems.

My DMs are open @neilthanedar if you’re interested in this idea as a founder, investor, and/or partner!

Published by Neil Thanedar

Neil Thanedar is a scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist. He is the founder & CEO of Air to All, a nonprofit medical device startup designing low-cost respirators and ventilators for COVID-19 and beyond. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Labdoor, a consumer watchdog that independently tests and ranks supplements and other health products for its 20M+ users. He was previously co-founder and President of Avomeen Analytical Services, a product development and testing lab acquired for $30M+ in 2016. He has also served as Executive Director of The Detroit Partnership and Senior Advisor to his father Shri Thanedar in his campaigns for Governor and State Representative in Michigan. He received his BBA (Entrepreneurship) and BS (Cellular & Molecular Biology) from the University of Michigan in 2010. Neil lives in Michigan with his wife Shoua, sons Kai (3) and Ajay (1), and dogs Zeus (12) and Pluto (11). He is also a (very) amateur hockey player and drummer.