Innovation for a changing climate Climate change is water change. It is the medium through which we will feel the effects of a warming earth. It is our responsibility to manage Earth’s most precious resource, now more than ever. Burnt Island Ventures finds, funds, and supports the best founders in water. Click below to learn more…
We’re looking for five core characteristics in the companies we back. There will need to be more to the company than this for us to back them, but this is what we think forms the core of a water company that can go the distance.
We’re looking for founders with uncommon insight in to some niche of the market that very few people know about, founders that have lived and breathed their problem and industry for years. They know the water they’re swimming in, because this industry has a way of biting people who don’t understand it.
Companies in water are driven by pain. By miserable customers. Great founders diagnose and understand that pain by spending real time with their customers, and identifying a small group whose problem they are going to solve first. They don’t have an issue closing the door on the problems and people they’re not solving for yet.
Anyone can build the thing. Even if only very few can build the thing, it’s the business around the thing that counts. The patent office is filled with great inventions that never made it as businesses. Great startups sweat the details, from first conversation to end-of life, to make sure the value they promise is delivered.
Water is slow. Always has been, and you would be foolish not to act as if it always will be. Customer acquisition is usually hard, so pricing has to be carefully thought out ahead of time. Slow isn’t a problem if you build to take account of it. Ask enterprise SaaS unicorns.
We wish this wasn’t true, but quality of leadership communication matters. Their charisma, their thoughtfulness, the way they tell their story. Nobody wants a Theranos, but charisma makes it a whole lot easier to convince three key groups - team members, customers and investors. And yes, those are listed in order of importance.