This year we set out to find a new name and brand.
Earnest Capital served us well for the first three years as an upstart fund, trying to prove out a novel approach to early stage investing. We had plenty of chuckles and puns about the incredibly earnest team and community that has grown around this idea. But after investing two funds into 40+ companies, and now on to our third, it was clear that we were onto something big.
We needed to find the rallying cry that wasn’t just “hey let’s do something different than VC,” but affirmatively reflected the strengths of this model and why so many entrepreneurs prefer this path.
So we did what we always do: we spoke to entrepreneurs in our community and came to an answer collaboratively. Far and away the most resonant idea, both for our specific fund and for the category as a whole, was the idea of “calm companies.”
… and we are now the Calm Company Fund and we’re here to support calm companies and the founders building them.
We believe that entrepreneurship is an inherent good and is a key driver of innovation and creativity, forms stronger communities, and builds generational wealth. Our mission is to maximize the number of successful entrepreneurs leveraging the internet and technology. The future of entrepreneurship is profitable, sustainable, calm companies.
Our long-term goal is to build the pre-eminent ecosystem for founders and funders of calm companies, while catalyzing the opportunity for more funds, services, and partners focused on serving these businesses.
We often say that we are “more than just a check.” We knew from the start that the cash and financing structure of the fund was only one piece of what we needed to build. Virtually all conventional advice, blog posts, events, accelerator programs, and mentorship groups are oriented around the venture model of hyper-growth and raising as much capital as possible. We need an entire ecosystem that operates under the principles and priorities of calm companies.
You’ll start to see more and more “Calm Company ___XYZ___” from us over time as we build out a collection of community, events, media, masterminds, products, and more stuff I can’t talk about yet. (We’ll be investing heavily in new products here with the proceeds of our recent crowdfunding campaign.)
Don’t call us Alt-VC. It’s a weird artifact of the shift of so much of the entrepreneurial opportunity to the internet that Venture Capital has come to dominate the narrative of how to fund and build companies. But the best VCs all agree, the vast majority of all founders and companies everywhere shouldn’t be raising VC or building with VC strategies or goals in mind. VC is the alternative and Calm Funding is the default way that most entrepreneurs in most markets should be building to maximize their success.
We hope that the early progress of a handful of Calm Funds will catalyze dozens more funds to join the category. Honestly there is just an ocean of opportunity here and plenty of room for more experimentation and innovation. Calm Funds need to be backing tens of thousands of founders a year to meet the true potential.
Founders looking for investment can start the process here.
Investors looking to join our upcoming Fund III can do so here.
Unaccredited investors can still join our Reg CF crowdfunding campaign here.
Our community of calm founders, Founder Summit, is accepting new applications here.
PS - this rebrand was quite a journey. We’ll be publishing a full behind-the-scenes post in the coming weeks but for now we just want to give a huge shout out to Scout Lab for their amazing work.