Berkeley FAST

Win $100K - $250K for your startup

For Founders who are students, faculty or alumni of Berkeley.

Two teams will win $100-250K
plus the chance to present to the NFX Partnership for a seed round.

  • Uncapped SAFE

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  • Open to all Berkeley students, professors, and alumni

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  • Apply by April 14th, 2pm PT

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Submissions will open on March 6th.

To apply for FAST, create and submit a BriefLink.

How FAST Works

FAST helps Berkeley Founders get their startups off the ground, and begin a long term relationship between you and NFX.

  • Private and simple application process
  • All applicants get feedback, no Founder is left ghosted
  • Opportunity to pitch live (and privately) in the final round
  • Most founder friendly investment terms out there: Uncapped SAFE, no discount
  • Winners will get the chance to pitch the NFX Partnership for a 2m+ seed round

What types of businesses are most likely to win NFX FAST?

No idea is too early. NFX FAST is targeting pre-seed and seed stage companies that have raised less than $2M of funding.

NFX invests in a broad range of sectors including AI, Marketplaces, Fintech, Proptech, Games, Networks, Computational Biology, Climate, Consumer, B2B, SMB software, enterprise software, etc. See our existing portfolio to get a sense.

Like all investors, we have investment preferences and areas of focus that you should know about. For instance, we strongly favor companies that can have network effects (NFX).

We don't focus on these sectors: semiconductor, medical devices, pure pharma, pure hardware, and network devices.

FAQ

What does FAST stand for?

Founder-friendly, Application-driven, Software-enabled, and Transparent.

Who sees my application?

Only NFX. It’s a private application.

How do I apply?

The application process simply consists of creating a BriefLink, which includes a 1 minute video.

When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced mid-April. If a company wants to remain in stealth mode, we will hold the announcement and keep it quiet.

What is the prize?

Two teams will win between $100K-$250K. In addition, all winners will have mentorship access to the NFX Investment Team. You will also gain access to the FAST Alumni Network.

What are the terms of the prizes?

The prizes will be structured as a simple and founder friendly uncapped SAFE note with no discount and an MFN clause. The investment is meant to boost the exploration of your idea with capital while not worrying about equity or valuation until you're ready for a full round. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about the terms.

Who can apply?

Founding teams with at least one Berkeley-affiliated student or professor (i.e., those pursuing degrees from Haas, EECS, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, School of Chemistry, etc.) may apply.

How can NFX invest so quickly?

NFX has built a software stack to streamline the due diligence, financial and legal processes. Further, we've standardized the terms and documentation of the investment so both the Founders and NFX know what we’re aiming to achieve.

As Founders ourselves, we know how much time and effort Founders spend raising money. We're committed to improving the fundraising process and have built Signal (2017) and BriefLink (2018) as free open tools for the Founder community. FAST is something we have been developing for a long time.

Does our company need to be incorporated to compete / win?

You do not need to be incorporated when you apply. However, you will need to incorporate your company to receive the prize.

Who can I reach out to if I have additional questions?

We will be hosting an information session in February. In the meantime, feel free to email xan.wood@berkeley.edu or vtekriwal@berkeley.edu. Or book a time with them directly here.

How do I know if I should apply for $100K or $250K?

The application groups are based on your level of traction. If you have zero or little traction – apply for the $100K. Some traction for the $250K means at least 4 beta customers (including LOIs or paid pilots) if B2B OR 50 beta customers if B2C OR $5K MRR. If you are unsure, apply for the $100K group and we will figure out if $250K group is right for you.

About NFX

NFX is the largest pre-seed and seed fund in the world with $450M in its latest fund. We have invested in 250+ companies including Trulia, Lyft, DoorDash, Poshmark, Honeybook, and Patreon, and been the first investor in standout companies such as Mammoth Biosciences (Berkeley), Outdoorsy, Houseparty, Zubale, Tomo, and many others.

The Partners of NFX have built 10 companies with more than $10 billion in exits across multiple industries and geographies. We're entrepreneur first because we were entrepreneurs first. And we’re determined to guard the backs of the next generation of fearless founders.

For more insights on who we are, visit www.nfx.com. While there, you can watch, read and listen to the best coverage of fundraising, network effects, marketplaces, and all things startup.