They call themselves a "band of angels and mentors who want more businesses founded by designers to succeed." The Designer Fund is a community of designers who invest in design entrepreneurs through angel funding, education and advice, and one-on-one support.
Like angel funds, they connect designers to venture capitalists and brand partners but because they understand design, they're interested in nurturing the founders and creating a sustainable ecosystem. The Fund matches designers with "hacker engineers and business hustlers" which include early-stage designers at YouTube, Facebook, Google, and Twitter—to get their ideas off the ground.
'Why aren't there more designer founders?' Facebook Survey.
Designers can apply for a 3 to 6 month-long investment through an application process now through July 1. Select candidates will be invited to an orientation for everyone to meet in person in mid July. Afterwards, offers are made to complement top accelerators and early stage funds ranging from pure mentorship to approximately $20K from designer angels for 2% equity.
In August, Designers are matched with members from The Designer Fund and partners to help improve any weaknesses, especially in tech and business matters. Starting in September, designers co-work together at the spaces of partners on a weekly basis to ship product, refine their business, and get market traction. Finally, designers showcase their progress at Demo Days to hundreds of investors. But really, that’s just the beginning- the Designer Fund network continues to help designer founders as their company continues to mature.