We know that you have questions about First Growth Venture Network. We hope that these answer your questions, but if they don’t, just let us know [Click Here to contact us]

Shouldn’t you use an acronym, like “FGVN”?
Try saying “FGVN” ten times, fast. Now you can see why we prefer “First Growth” for short.

What is First Growth Venture Network?
First Growth Venture Network is a NYC-based program for high potential, seed and early stage start-up tech entrepreneurs. First Growth takes high potential entrepreneurs and accelerates their “first growth” by (1) connecting them with the broader FirstGrowth community, which consists of venture capitalists, angel investors, successful entrepreneurs and advisors, all of whom have spent years in and around technology start-ups; (2) connecting each start-up with a First Growth Advisor Team of 3 or 4 successful network members who will serve as mentors to the team; (3) providing two days per quarter of substantive information and networking with the broader First Growth community; (4) providing a peer group of other young high potential tech leadership teams in the First Growth program, and (5) ensuring their inclusion in a number of other ecosystem events so that they further develop their networks even beyond the FirstGrowth team.

Who Should Apply?
Companies with promising technology and promising entrepreneurs who have quit their day jobs and are dedicating themselves full time to the start-up company completing the application. You need not have a full management team, you need not have raised funding (though you can have raised up to about $1M in third party funding), and you need not have a full business plan or PowerPoint.  Applicants must commit to attending each and every session (at a minimum, all but 1 session over the semester, or about once per month) and complete the application.  Of course, as with venture in general, the best way to gain admission to the First Growth program is to be warmly introduced. Please click here for a link to our EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE and to our ADVISORS to see if you already know any of us or can network your way to any of us for an introduction. Entrepreneurs should be either first or second time CEOs or other C level executives of the start-up. The program will include all of the C levels of successful applicants.

Must the Company be located in NYC?

No. First Growth is a program for high potential, seed and early stage start-up tech entrepreneurs, meeting in New York City. While many are based here, our program has drawn companies from Paris, London, Georgia, Louisiana, Chicago, Boston, and elsewhere.  Our advisors fly in from Silicon Valley and Boston, among other locales.  We believe that this reflects the magnetic quality of New York’s newly invigorated venture/tech scene as well as the strength of our program and commitment of its members. Many of our companies join because, among other things, they want acess to a NYC network in venture/tech.  We gladly accept out of town applicants as long as they commit fully to (1) coming to NYC for the meetings and events and (2) rooting against the Red Sox.

Will the First Growth VCs or Angels fund my Company?
No promises! First Growth is a venture network and it is possible that a rapport will develop between one or more funders and a start-up, but the start-up is not obligated and neither are the VCs and angels. There is no guarantee and there is no obligation on either side of the equation. We just want to get smart, talented people together and see where it leads.  In fact, a number of our companies have been funded by leading Silicon Valley, Boston, New York and even Israel-based venture funds.

What does it cost to apply to First Growth Venture Network?
Applying is free. There is no charge for admission either. The companies in our program pay for their own travel to and from our events.

With a name like “First Growth” there’s some wine geeky thing going on, isn’t there?
The name First Growth Venture Network is derived from “First Growth” Bordeaux wines, those wines classified as best of breed in the famous Bordeaux classification of 1855, which many in the wine arena still rely on today. First Growth Chair Edward Zimmerman, who founded the Lowenstein Sandler Tech Group as well as Grape ArborVC and AngelVineVC, is admittedly a bit wine-obsessed, and explained the connection between nurturing vineyards and tech start-ups. First Growth Venture Network is dedicated to helping companies with their first burst of growth; in building this program, we want to create the best possible growing conditions for start-ups right here in New York City.

Where does First Growth Venture Network meet?
First Growth meets in midtown Manhattan. Events are closed to the public and locations are announced only to program participants.

How does First Growth Venture Network make money?
First Growth doesn’t make money.  Well, our members do, but First Growth is not designed as a money-making entity. We want to help the venture/tech ecosystem in and around NYC and that means helping exciting young entrepreneurs and companies.  The First Growth Executive Committee and Advisors are volunteering their time and certain Founding Growers (the firms to which our Executive Committee members belong) are sharing the cost of the program.

Will First Growth Venture Network sign a nondisclosure agreement before I send my business plan or summary?
First Growth is a coalition of numerous VCs, angels, entrepreneurs, Lowenstein Sandler’s Tech Group and a few bankers from GCA Savvian. We can’t sign nondisclosures because we see so many business plans. If our inability to sign a confidentiality agreement is a deal breaker for you, then we understand and hope to see you next time. Also, remember, that this is a volunteer organization.

Once I’m admitted, am I definitely in for the entire program?
If companies choose to leave the program, they are allowed. Similarly, First Growth reserves its right to monitor how the companies are doing in terms of their compliance with the program requirements and completion of the program is not guaranteed.

Calendar for the current Vintage of First Growth Venture Network

Who can I contact for more information?
Please email inquiries to us at [email protected]

Who did the totally cool logo for First Growth Venture Network?
Suzanne O’Kelley and she’s really great. Contact us for more information about her and her work.

Who did the totally cool site redesign for First Growth Venture Network?
Ron Williams, Founder/CEO of Zeevex (1st Vintage or FirstGrowth and a successful exit) and we love him for it!