Better Ventures Commits $1M to Oakland Startups

We’re thrilled to announce a commitment of $1 million to back pre-seed stage technology companies based in Oakland and Berkeley that are pursing social and environmental outcomes.  Through our Better Ventures PreSeed program and backed by our recently launched second fund, we will invest $100,000 in 10 pre-seed stage startups, with an emphasis on companies based in Oakland, CA and those started by UC Berkeley founders. PreSeed convenes thought leaders, networking, and resources to advance a thriving impact startup ecosystem in Oakland. In addition to offering funding, we hold monthly fireside chats with the most successful impact entrepreneurs and investors.  Following these fireside chats, we hold monthly workshops with pre-seed stage entrepreneurs to provide the help they need to get to the next level.

To be considered for an investment, entrepreneurs should apply here. We highly encourage startups to attend our monthly PreSeed event series, including our startup workshops, so we can get to know you better. To qualify, startups should have a complete founding team (i.e. CEO and CTO) and a minimal viable information technology product that solves a pressing need in society. The investments will primarily be through convertible notes and will come from our second fund, which makes initial investments of $100,000 to $500,000 (and up to $1 million through follow-on) in early-stage technology companies pursuing social and environmental objectives. Startups will join our growing portfolio of 20+ companies across our two funds and will gain access to our value-added services including potential for follow-on investment. 

We encourage all startups that meet the above criteria to apply, particularly if you’re building a mobile, enterprise software, or data analytics company within our three investment themes:

  • Opportunity: universal low-cost access to the web via mobile phones, tablets, and computers is closing the opportunity gap and empowering individuals to seek out life-enhancing opportunities.  Examples include education technology, on-demand work platforms, and financial inclusion. 
  • Health: always-on connectivity and cloud-based analytics are improving diagnosis and treatment and enabling better healthcare delivery.  Examples include mobile health analytics, preventative care, and digital service delivery.
  • Sustainability: information technology services are lowering the costs of transitioning to a more sustainable economy.  Examples include information services for clean energy, resource efficiency, and sustainable supply chains.

Please direct questions related to PreSeed to  Thank you!


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