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Moth Fund

Moth Fund is an exceptionally early-stage-focused fund focused on investing in promising young people early using both investment dollar and grants. MF's thesis is that investing in individuals 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.

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 $1-2M 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.

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, such as Dwarkesh Patel and Sam Zeloof.

My thesis is that giving out grants to promising people early will lead to better returns for the fund by providing access to those same peoples' first funding rounds when they do decide to start companies.

How will MF invest?

  • I operate more as a founder than a VC and will invest in addition to running a storytelling consultancy and writing
  • I evaluate people first-and-foremost. I will invest in the best people whenever and wherever I find them
  • Sometimes I will be first check, sometimes I will be co-investing with Sequoia and other firms I work closely with

More questions?

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