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Moth Fund is an early-stage-focused venture capital firm that aims to increase the agency of extraordinary individuals. MF's thesis is that investing in promising minds early using small grants will lead to better returns for the fund by providing access to those same peoples' first funding rounds when they decide to start companies.

MF (managed by Molly Mielke) will invest in teams, founders, and curious high-potential humans across all sectors (with a slight preference for productivity, dev tooling, and infrastructure).

What distinguishes MF from other funds?

I have unique deal flow through...

  • Having worked and/or consulted at Figma, Notion, Retool, Stripe, Browser Company, etc, and being close to engineers and builders
  • My position as a member of communities such as Interact, the Ex-Stripe extended universe, and as a Sequoia Scout
  • My role as a people / idea curator as an editor at Stripe Press

I support founders by...

  • Being the first to bet on and believe in their being a future founder
  • Providing early no-strings-attached grants to promising people before they decide on an idea that they want to turn into a company
  • Providing storytelling/messaging/brand expertise as it relates to fundraising, customers, hires, etc.
  • Creating a community of founders and cohorts of grant recipients

Why am I doing this?

Over the past 6 months I’ve been working on grants at large: starting by experimenting with building infrastructure for grant fellowships, talent and team scouting for grant programs and VC firms, and learning everything that there is to know about the broader grant landscape. What I found is that:

  1. The problem is not infrastructure. The problem is a dearth of grant fellowships that give out belief capital to promising minds at the whisker-end of innovation (e.g. reputational lines of credit from prominent figures as exemplified by programs such as the Thiel Fellowship)
  2. The most valuable grants are the ones that provide both community and pathways towards other, more sustainable modes of funding after the grant money runs out (Ben Reinhardt articulated this best)

Addressing both of these problems is exactly what inspired me to build Moth Fund — a hybrid fund / grant program. My goal is to establish a replicable funding model that aligns the economics to incentivize supporting incredible individuals from exploration all the way through to world-shaping company.

More personally, I’ve benefited from grants and early-stage funding throughout my life: financing my education, this research into grants, and enabling me to dive deep into many of my curiosities. I look around me and see many extraordinary people who deserve the same investment opportunities and more — and I intend to be one of the first to offer them. I firmly believe that investing in such people for the long run and helping them tell their stories is one of the most impactful and agency-inspiring things I can do. That’s why I’m doing this :)

Why should you invest?

I am obsessed with talent discovery and cultivation — AKA actualizing human agency. I believe that many of the incredible people in my existing and future network will go on to create world-changing and culture-shifting companies and I want to support them on that journey. My long-term goal is to inspire agency and advance innovation — more on my manifesto here.

Who’s working on it?

Molly Mielke. Founder and future friend.

What's the fund size and structure?

It will be a $5M fund. For this first round I'm looking for $100k+ checks from like-minded angels and LPs that believe in the Moth Minds mission.

90% of the fund will be allocated to investing in the companies of people and teams I personally believe in (sector-agnostic).

10% of the fund will be allocated to give small grants to curious young people with demonstrated drive to start companies at some point in the future.

More questions?

Email me m@mollymielke.com! I'd love to hear from you.