The Battle Born investment mandate is to make equity and equity-like investments in small high-growth Nevadan for-profit businesses. In most cases, we prefer to invest alongside other private investors, such as, angel groups, seed and venture capital funds. Our specific mandate is:

Battle Born invests across the sectors identified by the 2011 Brookings Institute report, ‘Unify, Regionalize, Diversify: An Economic Development Agenda for Nevada’, as well as the two basic needs industries of agriculture and water:

 Aerospace & Defense

Nevada businesses have a history reaching back to World War II of researching, designing, developing and applying technologies for defense applications. The state is home to Nellis Air Force Base, Creech Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Fallon and the Hawthorne Army Depot. With an operational FAA-designated unmanned aerial system test site, the state is a leader in the UAV field.

 Agriculture

Agriculture is one of Nevada’s most important industries, contributing significantly to the economies of rural communities and the state as a whole. Supporting nearly 1,000 jobs on and off the farm, Nevada agriculture generates more than half a billion dollars annually and over $100 million annually in exports.


 Energy

With wide open spaces and ample resources in solar, wind and geothermal, Nevada is a natural region for development of important renewable and sustainable energy resources. There is a strong commitment with the Statewide Renewable Portfolio Standard to reach 25% renewables by 2025. Projects are under way on all energy fronts.

 Healthcare

Nevada is a center of advanced medical research as well as hosting leading clinical treatment and education institutions. These draw health care leaders to Nevada, including Cenegenics, the world’s largest age management practice; Varian Medical Systems, the world’s leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer; Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, which markets pharmacological cancer products for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and for colorectal cancer.


 Information Technology

With an unparalleled digital infrastructure, low rating for natural disasters, and an abundance of traditional and green power sources, Nevada is emerging as an advanced center for information technology businesses. Information technology in southern Nevada is anchored by technology giants Switch Communications and Zappos.com. In northern Nevada, Apple Computer opened an iCloud data center in Reno.

Logistics and Operations

Nevada’s primary focus is on new warehousing, distribution, and manufacturing operations that are seeking a West Coast hub of operations. Nevada can especially compete against neighboring states because of the available infrastructure, lower costs and regulatory hurdles, lower congestion, and overall ease of doing business. It is currently home to logistics centers for companies such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Levi Strauss & Co. and Toys R Us.


 Manufacturing

With excellent logistics infrastructure and just one day’s drive to Pacific Rim ports and to more than 60 million consumers, manufacturing represents an important segment of Nevada’s economy, employing more than 56,000 workers at over 1,800 manufacturing companies.

 Mining

Nevada’s great mineral wealth established this unique geographic region as a state nearly 150 years ago and continues to be an essential sector in the state’s economy. Thanks to world-class deposits of gold and silver, mining is Nevada’s largest export industry.


 Tourism and Gaming

With the star power of Las Vegas and the diversity of natural settings, Hospitality and Tourism is the state’s iconic consumption-oriented industry and a major economic engine that creates tens of thousands of jobs for Nevadans.

 Water

In Nevada’s arid environment, water is a precious resource, and the subject of a great deal of research and innovation. For instance, the Nevada Center of Excellence was established by Desert Research Institute and IBM in January 2013. It seeks to be the world leader in water technology, concentrating on conservation, resource planning, pumping, treatment, storage, distribution and reuse.

Battle Born invests in early stage, high-growth, Nevadan companies across three stages of their development.  The program can invest up to $1 million per company, though average investment amounts per company will be far lower:

PRE-SEED
  • A typical pre-seed company would have a prototype completed, and would have initial customers, even if these are very few in number
  • Pre-seed cos typically have fewer than 3 full time employees
  • Maximum total Battle Born investment per company of $100,000
  • Average Battle Born investment per company of $40,000
  • Battle Born investment cannot be more than 50% of total invested amount

SEED
  • A typical seed stage company would have some customers using its products, would have a clear growth plan, and would be seeking funding to expand operations
  • Seed stage companies typically have 3-10 full time employees
  • Maximum total Battle Born investment per company of $500,000
  • Average Battle Born investment per company of $200,000
  • Battle Born investment cannot be more than 50% of total invested amount

VENTURE
  • A typical venture stage company would have an established product range and client base and would be looking for incremental capital to expand into new geographies or product ranges
  • Venture stage cos typically have more than 10 full time employees
  • Maximum total Battle Born investment per company of $1,000,000
  • Average Battle Born investment per company of $200,000+
  • Battle Born investment cannot be more than 50% of total invested amount
We prioritize companies whose high-growth products and services have an enduring sustainable advantage over competitors, that have traction with customers, and that have teams with a proven track record in their industry.

We look for the following characteristics in investment opportunities:

  • A multi-disciplined team with a relevant track record; we look for teams with extensive experience in and passion for their chosen industry, and we like teams with a plurality of skill sets. We prioritize those with prior startup experience and with an ambitious, but achievable, vision for their startup
  • Traction with customers; one of our greatest concerns is ensuring that the companies in which we invest have customers purchasing their products or services, illustrated both by the company’s existing customers and by a solid plan to add more
  • A differentiated, defensible technology; we look for companies that have the ability to defend their technology, whether it is through patents or by a unique advantage in their chosen market
  • A substantial potential market; we seek companies that are addressing markets that have decent growth (at least 5% per year) and are sufficiently large (at least $300 million in the US) to sustain high potential startups
  • A support network; few startups thrive without help, so we look for teams that have strong advisory networks, whether it’s in the form of a formal advisory board, or a relationship with an Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) researcher, or an accelerator program
  • A reasonable expectation of more than a 3x return on Battle Born’s investment over a 3-5 year period
  • A clear exit plan; we require a viable plan for securing the follow-on financing needed to successfully grow the start-up

Regardless of applicability, we expect to be able to invest in only a very small portion of the companies that apply to the program owing to the nature of venture capital, and of the limited funds available.

Given our mandate, we cannot invest in:

  • Startups based outside of Nevada, or operating in industries outside of the target ones listed above, for instance, neither a Californian firm nor a retail store would fit our mandate
  • Pre-revenue companies of any kind
  • Startups that intend to use Battle Born funds to repay existing loans or buy out existing shareholders
  • Teams with salaries that are disproportionate to the business stage of their startup
  • Grants, donations or sponsorships of any kind; Battle Born is an investment program, not a grant-making program
  • The operations of an accelerator, incubator or mentoring program
  • Non-profits of any kind, regardless of their mission
  • Research projects or prototypes, whether at academic institutions or elsewhere in the community
  • Projects managed directly by, or operations of, state agencies or regional development agencies
  • While we are able to invest in social ventures, we can evaluate them only on their expected economic, not on their social, returns

We refer these projects to the grant funding, private funding and mentoring resources listed on our investment manager’s site.