AW Capital is a early stage small business capital firm focused on making strategic and financial investments in early-stage information technology, Internet, software startups, and relevant companies with large scalabilty. Our passion is working alongside entrepreneurs to give birth to new businesses and to build those businesses into industry-leading companies. We are located in Santa Barbara, CA, but we invest in companies across California.

What We Do
As true early-stage investors, we are comfortable making small seed investments (as little as $50,000 - $500,000) to help promising entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. We are equally comfortable participating in larger, more traditional Series A venture financing rounds. Regardless of the size of our initial investment, the level of our funding allows us to continue to support our portfolio companies through their entire financing lifecycles.

In addition to providing the necessary seed and venture capital to get a company up and running, we are committed to leveraging our experience in starting and growing companies, our expertise in the technology industry, and our network of relationships to help great entrepreneurs turn great ideas into great companies.

How We Do It
We believe that success comes from building a collaborative and supportive relationship between AW Capital and the entrepreneurs and executives in whom we invest. Having walked the proverbial mile in the entrepreneur’s shoes, we understand where we can add value—such as helping build out a management team, thinking through strategic business development and growth opportunities, or providing advice on exit strategies—and we aren’t afraid to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.

Rest assured, however, that we also know the difference between being value-added investors and being micro-managing investors. As venture capitalists, we believe our role is to identify, help build and support the team that will make our companies successful.

We also believe that, in early-stage investing, it is critical we maintain a direct relationship between our entrepreneurs and our managing directors, rather than using junior professionals to manage the work load. AW Capital’s team structure, fund size, and investment process have been intentionally created to ensure this philosophy guides our interactions with all of our investments.

In most cases, AW Capital will be the first institutional investor in the companies that we back. Because of our active engagement with our companies, we typically will take a correspondingly substantial ownership position in our investments and will join as a member of the company’s board of directors.

We recognize that sometimes the best ideas aren’t ones that generate broad investor consensus. Though we are happy to co-invest with other venture firms as part of a syndicate, we look to our own evaluation and interpretation of an entrepreneur, a market opportunity and a company’s prospects to guide our investment decisions. As a result, we view ourselves as “syndication agnostic” and are entirely comfortable investing in an early-stage company as its sole investor rather than seeking the validation of co-investors.

What We Invest In
Unlike many venture capital firms that invest in certain geographic regions or specific businesses, technologies and sectors, AW Capital’s investing activity is largely driven by a people approach. An idea or venture is only as strong as the people behind it. The businesses we pursue tend to be horizontal in nature and are often driven by their management, underlying technology, emerging market trends and customer needs. We search out businesses which solve a problem or fill a need in the market.

As one might expect, we are always in the process of evaluating current opportunities and investigating new ones. That said, we don’t strictly limit our investing activities to a set guideline—great entrepreneurs with great ideas still count for a lot in our book. In fact, our thinking about these themes can be born from and evolve as a result of our investment in an entrepreneur at the leading edge.

If you’re interested in learning more, please contact AW Capital at info@awcapital.net. Attach a copy of your executive summary not your entire business plan.