artist // designer // entrepreneur

The Madray Venture: FAQs

We’re selective:We want to give our founders all the attention they deserve. So we only work with 5 start-ups in a 6 month period. We can’t take everyone so we pick the start-ups we feel are the most ready to succeed. Don’t be discouraged if we don’t pick you. We’ll still give you helpful feedback and invite you to re-apply once you’ve put the feedback into effective use. 

Creative Investments: We give you $10k worth of creative services and start-up expertise in exchange for 5-6% founders stock in your company. Our creative investment in your start-up is creative services such as brand strategy, web & mobile design and development, and digital marketing.

Networking & Mentoring: In addition to creative services, you will receive mentoring, legal advice, start-up resources and access to The Madray’s network of investors and vendors.

Value for Value: In exchange for our creative investments and start-up expertise--a dollar value of $10,000--we receive a 5-6% percent stake in your company. We help you get off the ground and when you’re flying high, we all get our ROI.


Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a “Creative Investment?” Here’s the gist: we give you $10k worth of creative services in exchange for a 5-6% founders stock in your company. Value for value.Our approach is much like organizations such as Y Combinator and Techstars who provide seed funding to founders as well as equip them to boldly seek VC funding. Only, our investment in your start-up is creative services such as brand strategy, web & mobile design and development, and digital marketing. 

In addition to creative services, you will receive mentoring, legal advice, start-up resources and access to The Madray’s network of investors and vendors. A total creative investment with a dollar value of $10,000.

Why Would I Need Creative Investments? Investors are NOT only looking for good ideas. They know good ideas are worthless in the hands of founders who can’t execute. VCs want to fund not only ideas they believe in but people they believe in. People that can do the most with the resources they have.

Great presentation makes a great impression. Having professionals, such as The Madray, build your brand around your idea shows investors you have the chutzpah to make ideas happen--you come across as a sure bet. Of course, your idea still has to be good. Not even amazing branding can fix a bad idea.

Good ideas live and die by branding. The Madray helps you ensure you don’t muff your great idea with a poor brand strategy. But remember, you’re not only getting creative services, you’ll also have experienced business partners fighting for your success.

How Do I Sign Up? You apply. But before you do, know that we are very selective who we choose to invest our creative services in. It’s a big commitment of both time and money for us. And like VCs, we need to know there’s a good chance of success. In order to give each founder the appropriate amount of energy, we only work with 5 founders at a time. See How We Choose...

Don’t be intimidated though. Even if we don’t choose you, we’ll give you constructive feedback. A resilient entrepreneur will use the feedback to their advantage to press forward.

Fill out this form. If we select your application we’ll want to have a 2-way interview to ensure we’re a good fit for each other. Then, we’ll go from there.

What kind of start-ups do you invest in? We focus on the web and mobile space because that’s what we specialize in. But if you have a great idea for a physical product, we’ll definitely take a look at it.

What does a creative investment look like? We give you $10,000 dollars of creative work such as

  • brand strategy
  • brand assets: identity. business cards. letterheads. etc.
  • website design & development
  • mobile app design & development
  • investor presentation deck
  • digital marketing plan & implementation
  • professional start-up advice
  • mentoring
  • access to our network of investors and preferred vendors

In exchange for the above, The Madray receives 5-6% founders stock in your company. We work with you to get you in a position to seek either seed funding or substantial VC backing.

How long will you will you be making an investment in my start-up? The program lasts for 6 months which by the end of 3 months we will have invested $10K worth of creative services. At the end of creative investments we seek out potential investors and meetings with individuals that will help you take your project to the next step.

Being a co-founder in your company, The Madray Ventures will always be there to assist your start-up in the effort to succeed. It’s in our interest to see you succeed so we’ll be right there with you.

What if I already have branding and a marketing plan? You may be in good shape and our creative investment may not be right for you. However, we can assess your current branding and advise you as to whether or not you will be attractive to investors. If that’s the case, we can discuss bringing you into The Madray Ventures Program. If you’re in doubt of the caliber of your current branding, contact us.

How do I know if I qualify for this type of investment? We have a blog post to answer this question. Read it here.

If I apply, what’s the next step? We will contact you within one week after reviewing your application. At this point, we will either discuss the next phase which is setting up a 2-way interview OR, we will give you helpful feedback and invite you to re-apply after you have effectively implemented our feedback.

Why does The Madray need and want stock in my new company? Like you, we are entrepreneurs. We see the need among budding start-ups for creative, branding and mentoring. We also understand the limited budgets of start-ups. By turning our time and work into an investment, we make getting off the ground much easier for you. And when you succeed, we get a return on our investment.

How much control am I giving up by awarding a percentage of ownership to The Madray Ventures (TMV)? We want you to view TMV as a co-founder in your start-up. But you’re the founder, you’re in charge. It’s not our intent to have controlling interests your company. However, we assume we’ll have the common rights of co-founders in proportion to our percentage of ownership.

Does it matter where I'm located? It doesn't but it helps if you're in San Diego or close vicinity where we can do meet-ups for brainstorming session. However, we use technologies such as Skype, GoogleTalk, Adobe and others that allows us to collaborate and brainstorm.

What prompted the idea of The Madray Ventures? That's a great question. Read about it here.