Acquired Wisdom Fund (AWF) is a venture firm focused on serving a particular, and sometimes rare, type of founder in the venture ecosystem: older, experienced entrepreneurs.
General partners Mendel Chuang and Derek Langton bring a unique combination of experience and insight to Acquired Wisdom Fund. Mendel was an early employee at Google, where he worked on a variety of projects, including Google Desktop, Toolbar, Blogger, AdWords, and AdSense. He later became a founder before launching Founder Friendly Labs (FFL), an equity-free startup accelerator based in Silicon Valley. Derek served for nearly two decades as a Massachusetts State Police officer, earning two medals of life savings during his service. After picking up iOS programming, Derek changed careers and started working as a developer and consultant.
The archetype of a founder is beginning to diversify in every way as venture capital and entrepreneurship become more accessible beyond the regional hubs and social networks that have dominated the sector. Despite research published in the Harvard Business Review indicating that older, experienced entrepreneurs have a higher rate of success than their younger counterparts, many are often overlooked as they are raising pre-seed and seed capital. Acquired Wisdom Fund is making a concerted effort to focus on these founders: The fund aims to write the first check into companies founded by more experienced entrepreneurs across a variety of industries.
Why we invested
Acquired Wisdom Fund’s investment thesis is exciting for two reasons: By concentrating on a demographic of entrepreneurs with a proven edge on success among venture-backed founders, the partners have statistical odds in their favor. Just as important, the firm shines a light on a group that is often overlooked in discussions of diversity in the tech sector: older, experienced entrepreneurs. Acquired Wisdom’s founder-friendly approach, inspired by the work of Founder Friendly Labs, is also an attractive selling point to founders. The partners enjoy a strong network of FFL founders (including Carta’s founder, Henry Ward) for industry reference. At Carta, we always appreciate founder-friendly GPs focusing on an underserved part of the market. We’re excited to support Acquired Wisdom Fund as the firm continues its mission of accelerating experienced founders.