From Our Founders

Hi, this is Jake Zeller and Jonathan Swanson.

We have an important question to ask: Are founders better investors than VCs?

VCs have decades worth of pattern recognition and relationships. But founders have more recent operating experience and empathy for fellow founders.

Based on our experience working with hundreds of top founders and VCs, we have reason to believe that a certain cohort of founders can be some of the best investors on the planet, both in terms of helpfulness to startups and returns they’ll generate.

We’re here to empower them.

Announcing Powerset

Powerset gives founders capital and coaching to become world-class angel investors. 

Each founder gets: 

  • Their own $1M fund (paying carry). AngelList provides full-stack legal and back-office support, so founders stay focused on their company.
  • A path to unlock up to $15M for follow-ons and future funds 
  • Real-time feedback and coaching on investments
  • A community of elite founders and mentors to learn from 
  • No pressure to invest; founders go at their own pace

Investment experience isn’t required, but ambition, a steep trajectory and technical talent are.

Why Founders Need Powerset 

Founders are the lifeblood of venture capital; both because of their companies and the dealflow they send to VCs. Yet of $621B invested in venture last year, less than 3% was deployed by active founders. 

It’s our duty at Powerset to change this math by creating a more aligned model where founders share in the success. And as a founder, you should seize this opportunity and pay it forward to the next generation.

The Team Behind Powerset

Powerset is founded by Jake Zeller and Jonathan Swanson. 

We’ve been friends and angel investing partners for nearly a decade. We’re angels in Mercury, Scale AI, Talkdesk and 100+ more.

Jake pioneered online venture funds at AngelList and was instrumental in providing founders with over $200M to start investing. He was a Partner in Spearhead from the program’s inception. He’s also a Partner in Galaxy, a program that provides founders in India with capital to invest. 

Jonathan is the Founder & Chairman of Thumbtack and Athena. He scaled both teams to 1,000+ and raised over $700M from VCs including Sequoia, Google and Tiger. 

We started Powerset because a platform for “founders backing founders” is the best way we can help startups at scale. 

Powerset is more than a new fund: It’s a new model for venture capital. And just as there are many accelerators and incubators, we expect more projects like Powerset to emerge. We hope they all bloom.