Tong Gu from Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV) is one of the 24 judges at Discovering Start-Ups 2018. Here, her team introduce themselves to you before the final on Monday 17 September.
Who are we?
We are Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV). In 2016 we launched with £150m to invest in patient ventures across the UK into companies with big ambitions. We connect large scale institutions to the early stage ecosystem in order to solve many of the problems that cause companies to exit early or slow down growth.
Our team is a mixture of founders, operators, product, policy and ecosystem people.
What do we look for?
ADV invests in long term ambition. All companies we partner with must be fundamentally based on digital tech. We’re set up to support founders looking to solve generation-defining problems with companies that could take up to 10 or 20 years to scale big.
Our investors are large scale institutions that pay close attention to our portfolio and look to invest later in a company’s life. We assess opportunities by size of opportunity; track record of the team; and timing of execution.
All investment process is digital to increase speed, transparency and meritocracy of design making. Any founder can approach ADV, you don’t need a ‘warm intro’, share your vision of the future with us.
What do we invest in?
We break digital tech into three broad business models: platform companies (often two-sided marketplaces which scale through marketing - such as Skyscanner or Just Eat); deep tech companies (often disrupting a fundamental building block in technology - such as Deep Mind or ARM); and direct sales companies (selling their product direct to the end user - such as Stripe or Zendesk).
All must be looking to solve an industry - or generation-defining problem. We’ve invested in: health, fintech, space, farming, heartbeats and much more. As long as a company has long term ambition to fundamentally re-define the future with technology, we want to hear from them!
We invest at seed, seed extension and Series A stage.
The importance of ecosystem support
Cambridge is one of the most advanced technology ecosystems on earth. But as with all ecosystems its still tricky to find the brightest founders building the future. Our team is based remotely so we can spend as much time meeting entrepreneurs as possible.
Any event, competition or programme which brings together groups of like-minded ambitious people is vital to the ecosystem. It’s great for us to lend our expertise in return for a chance to meet these companies. We can’t wait to see who gets chosen!