SOSventures is a venture capital firm that invests in startup companies primarily in the technology sector. With headquarters in Cork, Ireland and offices in the United States and China, SOSventures invests globally.
Since 2009, SOSventures has run multiple Accelerator programs in the United States, Asia and Europe, providing early stage companies access to market knowledge, funding and mentorship in concentrated bursts of time.
SOSventures was founded in 1993 by Sean O’Sullivan. Over the past 20 years the firm has invested in over one hundred companies, most of which are less than 4 years old. Of the 22 private companies over 6 years old, 6 became public companies or divisions of public companies listed on the Nasdaq or NYSE. Some continue to be privately held.
The SOSventures portfolio includes IT, Internet & Hardware startups. Some highlight companies: Harmonix (developers of the Guitar Hero series), Carma, net.Genesis, NetCentric, MapInfo, Leap Motion, Formlabs, Sobi, Global Protein Solutions, Mavenhut and Storyful.
In 2009, with a goal of providing start-up companies with immediate exposure and access to market knowledge, mentors and funding in a concentrated amount of time, SOSventures developed Accelerator programs across three continents (China Axlr8r, Haxlr8r, Selr8r, SynBio Axlr8r). The Accelerators focus on start-up development in the areas of hardware, software, sales and biotechnology. As of July 2013, a total of 63 companies worldwide have graduated from these programs.
Haxlr8r runs in the United States and China. It focuses on entrepreneurs building hardware devices. Its first batch graduated in June 2012 and was widely received as the start of a new hardware revolution (New York Times, Forbes, Financial Times, etc). It offers seed funding ($25,000), office space, access to factories, as well as mentorship along with other opportunities for 2-4 person startups to take an idea to a product. Teams also have access to the ‘Ignite Fund’ and can qualify for an extra $25,000 in the form of a convertible note, expanding to hundreds of thousands when financing production runs. Haxlr8r runs programs twice a year.
China Axlr8r was the first mentorship-driven seed-funding program in China, begun in 2009. The accelerator program is geared to Internet entrepreneurs, especially those who target the Chinese markets or come from Asia (although two-thirds of the companies include American or European founders).
Selr8r was the world’s first sales-focused accelerator, and generally is run in Ireland or the UK. Designed to help early-stage companies with market-disrupting products, it is a 50 day program requiring the senior management team to work on sales issues together with the mentors and a call center capability that delivers up to 2,000 calls over the course of the program as the message of the company is refined and discovered. Most of the products going through this program are B2B companies. Selr8r provides funding, technical back up (broadband/phone/fax), sales and (social) media training, telesales (up to 2000 outbound calls), marketing/design services on tap, peer networking, world class mentors, and shared workspace.
SynBio Axlr8r is an accelerator for entrepreneurs building technologies in or around the field of Synthetic Biology. It offers companies seed funding ($30,000) and lab space as well as mentorship to help take an idea to a product.