How We Run Our Process

Unshackled Ventures
3 min readJan 29, 2021

(Updated January 2023)

We focus on helping immigrant entrepreneurs succeed faster. From the first contact, through the investment evaluation to the post-investment support — we know your time is the most valuable asset you have. For this reason, we aim to remove any artificial barriers. Below is a representative outline of our evaluation process and what success looks like in each part. As entrepreneurs ourselves, we are comfortable deviating from this, as required.

Initial Information

We value the founders’ time and like to analyze information before taking your time. To streamline information gathering and to make sure we are responsive to everyone, we created a simple form, which takes about 3–5 minutes to complete. Once we receive this information, it is reviewed by at least two members of our investment team to determine if it is a fit. You can learn more about what we look to invest in here.

Pitch Invitation

Teams we are excited about (based on the review of the information above) are invited for a 30-minute video call with a member of our investment team. Unlike many other funds, all members of our investment team play an active role in the decision-making process and we make all team-based decisions.

The main topics of discussion for the call include:

  • Why is this team the right one to solve this problem or tackle this market?
  • Where are you in the company building journey? What have you learned about your customers or market need so far?
  • How can this company become category defining instead of incremental change?(we expect the founders to guide our vision)
  • What do you have to prove with this round of funding to raise the next? (helps us understand your execution philosophy, prioritization, focus, and approach)

The best teams leave us wanting to learn more. They pose both their strengths and show their awareness of areas they need to dig deeper on.

Partner Meetings

Over 1–3 longer meetings, we dig deeper into the key areas with the founding team. This is an opportunity for us to see how we can work together and how the team thinks through challenges over time. These meetings help us build our conviction around a couple of areas before we move into confirmatory due diligence:

  • We will dig deeper into the previous questions from pitch call
  • Customer discovery journey
  • Current unique insights or hypotheses you are testing
  • Technological and product advantage
  • Market inflection points (aka why now?)
  • The speed of execution and iteration
  • Milestones and use of funds

We do a good amount of research in between meetings, including getting insights from founders, operators, and experts in the space and industry. In each subsequent meeting, you may meet a new member of our team, with the purpose of each call being to build on the previous meeting’s main points and move towards an investment decision.

We recognize our job is to make the best decision with imperfect information. We also recognize that the builders of our future are likely the founders, so we rely on a founder’s worldview the most. This is how we get comfortable leading early, with conviction. If we complete this stage and are excited about the team, opportunity and how the future could look, we move to an investment decision.

Final Investment Meeting and Decision

We have a final meeting that includes every investment team member your team has connected with throughout the process. The discussion is a culmination of the work done by both sides in the conversations and meetings leading up to it. We typically get back to the team within 48 hours with our final decision and discuss terms of investment.

Once there is alignment on terms we move into confirmatory due diligence which includes potential customer references, professional references, company incorporation analysis, legal diligence, immigration diligence, etc.

Process Timing

We value founders time and communicate with them where we are in the process and what we need from them to keep going. When our team finds we are not a fit, we communicate it quickly and with honest feedback. Every team is different and sometimes, we understand urgency might vary when teams are having multiple conversations at the same time. Ultimately, processes don’t drive decisions, decisions drive processes.




Unshackled Ventures

Pre-seed fund dedicated to investing in and unlocking opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs.