Solar Panels in Mole-Saint-Nicolas, Haiti

Ground Squirrel Ventures

Ground Squirrel Ventures is the focal point of a network of angel and seed stage investors based out of Boston, MA. Our goal is to extend the resources of the Boston ecosystem to underserved markets and industries. Our primary focus has been in clean energy projects and in frontier markets - often both - which are where we feel we can have the greatest impact. We are currently active in Zambia, Madagascar, Haiti, Kenya and Rwanda.

Our Focus

We look for opportunities where capital can make a real difference in the success of a business

All of us do better if each of us do better. We're here to contribute skills and capital to do our part.

We're learners, investors and mentors. We want you to succeed.


INVESTING, NOT GAMBLING

The current Angel/VC model has too much money trying to find the next AirBnB or Uber. When the stakes are a 1000x return and you need to put tens of millions of dollars to work, you can't look at small projects and you don't bet on 'only' doubling your investment.

We think that's a huge mistake. Small scale, crucial services exist everywhere around the world, and they can create useful, thriving businesses. Just like gambling, those rare big wins blind investors to what really makes businesses - hard work, focused on building the business, not pleasing investors.

KEEPING PROFITS LOCAL

Key to a region's success is keeping profits local, rather than taking them away. This is true of both financial profits and the encouragement and development of talented entrepreneurs. We don't yet have a concrete plan, but our intent is to ensure the overwhelming share of any profits we make are cycled back into the local economy. And the more success, the more responsibility we have to make sure we do this.

Not being focused exclusively on financial profits, we want to build enduring businesses, not acquisition targets in which the long term benefits accrue to outsiders. We want to foster skill development, access to mentors, clean energy & accessible electrification, environmentally responsible agriculture, and businesses that can be a force of good instead of destruction.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, AND SMART PEOPLE IN FRONTIER MARKETS

In mature markets we're focused on sustainability efforts (and clean energy in particular), while in frontier markets we’re much more flexible about creating or supporting an entrepreneurial ecosystem. There's tremendous talent globally that just lacks access to funding, and the contacts and expertise to excel. We want to take our resources in Boston and extend them into regions building the next generation of technology centers.

WHAT MATTERS IS EXECUTION

We don't want to follow the same model as most VCs. We're less interested in a traditional pedigree, and more excited about individuals with different backgrounds. In part, this is self-serving - why bid on the same deals as everyone else when there are smart, scrappy, driven people who are simply lacking the connections to attract capital?

Coming from a background in entrepreneurship, we are comfortable with unknowables. No plan survives implementation intact and an overly precise model is an illusion of certainty and a waste of time that should be spent executing. What we value instead is creative, determined people who are trying to find solutions to problems.

Image Courtesy SweetCrisis at FreeDigitralPhotos.net