Apply for Investment and Design Support

Designer Fund Partnership includes an average investment of $500K, monthly design help and a community of design leaders you can call upon.

👉🏼 Designer Fund Partnership applications are now closed. Join our newsletter and follow us on Twitter to get notified when applications open up in the future.

We view our relationships with founders and companies as long-term partnerships, not deals. When we invest in you, we apply the best practices we’ve learned over the past decade investing and serving multi-billion dollar companies like Stripe, Gusto, Notion, Commure and Netlify.

Designer Fund Partnership is the best investment and design support offer for early stage startups. It includes an average investment of $500K, monthly design help to hire and manage exceptional design teams, expert product and brand design advice, and professional development alongside our community of top designers.

Unicorn Logo Pile

How our investment works

During open application periods, you can apply for an average investment of $500K and design support and we’ll respond within one week with a status update or invitation to meet. We're looking for early stage companies, Pre-seed to Series A, that use design to improve health, prosperity, and sustainability for all. Our average investment is $500K for 5% but we understand that may not make sense for every company. Depending on your traction and funding to date, we can adjust our investment terms. We recommend that you apply regardless of your stage, location and fundraising timeline.

How our design support works

New Designer Fund Partnerships will kick off by this December and include monthly design help tailored to what you need throughout 2023. We’re not an accelerator and we don’t have a curriculum you have to follow. Rather, we focus on the following types of collaborative work sessions when you need them most:

  • Kickoff: We start with an onboarding meeting to better understand your milestones for the next year and how we can best help you accomplish them.
  • Hiring: We assess your design needs and support your recruitment process whether you’re looking for a project based contractor or a full-time employee.
  • Design management: As you hire a team, we can coach them to overcome challenges while scaling high-performing design teams.
  • Design advice: We host office hours to provide feedback on your product, brand and how to use design strategically across your business.
  • Professional development: We connect you to design leaders and advisors in our community for specific expertise via the Designer Fund Collective private Slack workspace and invite you to members-only events and trainings.
  • Pitch support: We make warm introductions to potential customers, lead VCs and value-add investors, hone your pitch, and develop an outreach plan.

After one year of monthly design help, we’ll shift to a quarterly cadence and help with any of these areas on demand. You’ll continue to have access to the growing Designer Fund Collective community, how-to resources and professional development opportunities as we strive to keep adding value long after the seed stage.

DF Team

How we add value

We help you hire and manage great design talent

With our funding, you should be able to hire design talent and take your team to the next level. We help throughout the interview process to hire the right type of designer, from a project based contractor to a full-time employee, and ensure the relationship yields results. We maintain relationships with curated freelancers, studios and designers looking for new opportunities. We promote your company to thousands of designers through our newsletter, social media and job board. As you hire a team, we can coach and mentor them with design leaders in our network who've managed high performing teams from early to growth stages at scale.

Max Hsieh
Landscape was a Designer Fund referral. We’d been working with Ben and Enrique for the past few years and trusted their recommendations and guidance. They're the best in the design community!. Max Hsieh, CTO of Forma

We provide expert design advice when it matters

We provide office hours with our network of expert advisors to help guide you with the latest best practices for designing a world-class product and brand to grow your business. For example, you can request in-depth design reviews to walk through new features end-to-end, get assistance with strategic projects like improving your current design process and we can participate in design sprints. We give feedback based on the unique context of your product, team and company instead of cookie cutter advice.

Gloria Lin
I thought Office Hours was an excellent event! Incredibly high quality of advisors, and you all did a great job making the event fun + keeping on track. Gloria Lin, CEO of Siteline

We level up your team with our network of design leaders

As part of our Designer Fund Partnership, you and your design team are invited to be members of Designer Fund Collective, our community of 100+ successful founders, advisors and design leaders at companies like Stripe, Airbnb, Slack, Instagram and more. You can ask specific questions, access how-to guides and make connections via our private Slack workspace. You'll also receive invitations to members-only events and trainings for your team like our Business Value of Design and Designing Stories workshops. Our goal is for your team to learn how to use design strategically across your company from product to sales, recruiting and culture.

Rachel Arredondo
I have really enjoyed being part of the Designer Fund community. The Business Essentials for Designers workshop really helped me in my first job and I’ve learned so much from the community since then that has continued to shape my design journey. Rachel Arredondo, UX Designer at Whipsaw

We hone your pitch to close sales and investors

We help you navigate finding a lead VC and value-add investors by making warm introductions and sharing references. We curate lists of recommended co-investors including top-tier angels, seed funds and VC firms. We can also hone your pitch to close investors and customers through feedback sessions, improving your decks, and developing an outreach plan. We aim to be one of the most valuable investors on your cap table and earn the right to continue investing in your company from Seed stage through Series B. Unlike consultants, we’re investors and partners in your business with real skin in the game so our interests are aligned long-term.

Warren Lebovics
Designer Fund helped us get our pitch ready and introduced us to a great lead seed investor we went with. Warren Lebovics, Co-founder of Pequity

How Designer Fund Collective works

When you work with Designer Fund, both of our General Partners will work directly with your team. We also aim to match you with a design expert from our network who will provide additional support as an angel investor and/or formal advisor to your company. Our standard agreement we recommend using with formal adviors is 0.1% equity for an average of four hours per month. In addition, we invite you to become part of Designer Fund Collective, a community of some of the best founders, angels, advisors and design leaders in tech from companies like Asana, Dropbox, Instagram, Faire, Pinterest, Shopify, Square and more, who will help you and your design team succeed.

DF Collective

How our application works

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👉🏼 Designer Fund Partnership applications are now closed. Join our newsletter and follow us on Twitter to get notified when applications open up in the future.

Phil Vander Broek
Designer Fund was instrumental in helping us find the right lead VC. We felt we had a leg up because of their network, insider recommendations on firms and partners who would be a good fit for us, and warm introductions. Lead VCs would never provide that value because they just sell themselves. Phil Vander Broek, Co-founder of Dopt