F50 is one year old! Letter from the co-founders

To our valued founders, investors, partners and friends:


We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for your support during the past year since we launched F50 on March 26, 2014. F50 with HQ in San Francisco, is now one of the fastest growing companies in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and we couldn’t have achieved what we have so far without you. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to:


F50 Network: Our First-Year Snapshot


  • 138 startups
  • $65M total amount raised
  • 10+ Million invested from F50’s core network


F50 Season 1: 30 startups selected

F50 Season 2: 40 startups selected

F50 Season 3: 35 startups selected in smart hardware, loT, wearables, robotics

F50 Season 4: 34 startups selected in gaming & entertainment


We have built a strong partnership with Google and are now planning to co-host a startup event before Season 5 with Google, the night before Google IO with all of the F50 alumni. We’re also in the process of launching our search for the most innovative companies through the Global Innovation Awards, which we are co-hosting with Shengjing Group. The awards will include $1.5M USD in cash awards for startups (no equity) and a guaranteed $15M USD in investment for the finalists.


Investor Snapshot


The F50 private founder and investor network continues to grow, with 138 founder alumni who are joined by hundreds of strategic and professional investors from the U.S. and around the world including investors from KPCB, Sequoia, Khosla Ventures, GGV Capital, Sand Hill Angels, Lightspeed Ventures, Intel Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Samsung Ventures, Sony Ventures, IBM Ventures, General Atlantic, Garage Ventures, Foundation Capital, Norwest Ventures, Onset Ventures and Stanford StartX.


Looking Ahead


As we look ahead to Season 5, F50’s biggest season yet, we hope you will take the opportunity to get involved. We’ll be selecting 100 companies raising $100M USD. To learn more about how to nominate or refer a startup, click here.


We are thrilled to bring the success and impact of our offline network online and we look forward to rolling out the initial version during S5. We have a range of exciting plans to empower our growing network of high quality founders as well as top professional and strategic investors from Silicon Valley and around the world.


The future has great things in store for F50 and as we set our sights towards 2016, we have set an ambitious goal: across 12 seasons, F50 will select 1,000 startups that will collectively raise $1B USD.


Our Leadership Team


David Cao: Founder & CEO of F50; former Founder & CEO of GWC US

Eric Ly: Co-founder, former Co-founder & CTO of LinkedIn

Tel Chengmin Liu: Co-founder, former EVP of Tencent

Bill Reichert: Co-founder, Managing Partner of Garage Technology Ventures

Martin Stroka: Co-founder, former Director of Strategic Relationships @ GWC US

Brad Strum: Co-founder, former VC General Partner

Eli Lipstein: Principal, former VC/M&A attorney

Olivia Vetesi: Principal, in-house counsel


F50 Venture Partners:


Patrick Mork: former CMO/Marketing Director Google Play

Canice Wu: former President of Plug and Play

Mike Loftus: former EIR of The Angels’ Forum

Steve Lau: Managing Partner of Eagle’s Fund

Adam Gold: Managing Partner of Espial Ventures

Vineet Sharma: Director at Zynga


Special Thanks for our Supporters:

A special thanks to all of F50’s loyal supporters including:

  • Our 30+ dedicated F50 IAC (Investment Advisory Committee) members, who have generously devoted their time to helping our team select exceptional founders in the ecosystem
  • All of the limited partners of F50 Ventures, F50’s investment arm, who have been huge supporters and believers in the company since its inception
  • All the partners who have helped make this year possible, and with whom we plan to continue to grow, including Google Developers, Efactor, HTML5 Conf, TiE, CTIA, YAILA (Young Angel Investor Association), China Europe International Business School, TechWadi and of course, Shengjing
  • Our global investor network are the local top-tier VCs, angels and strategic corporate investors right here in Silicon Valley. Thank you for your participation at our investment events, and for countless face-to-face meetings
  • All of our Chinese investors who showed great interests in F50 founders and co-invested with F50. Especially, we’d like to give special mention to Lebox Capital, Decent Capital, Cheetah Mobile, Kongzhong Corporation, Modian, Innovally, and more.
  • Our network of EIRs and experts who have helped us screen hundreds of startups who have applied to our four seasons

While we are thrilled with all the progress to date, we believe the F50 story is just getting started. We look forward to working with all of you to support the great founders in our community to achieve their dreams in the coming year and beyond.


F50 Founders:

David Cao,  Eric Ly, Tel Liu, Bill Reichert, Martin Stroka and Brad Strum