Day One Ventures Investing $100K cheques to laid-off Founders

Day One Ventures, a venture business founded in 2018 with the goal of combining venture capital expertise with marketing and communications help, has established a program this year focused specifically on those affected by tech layoffs.


About the Funding

“Funded Not Fired” will invest $100,000 in 20 startup teams before the end of the year. The cohort’s top businesses will then get follow-up financing thanks to Day One Ventures’ pledge to lead their pre-seed round with a $1 million check. 

In total, the business is donating at least $5 million (and possibly as much as $10 million) from its $52.5 million fund to support entrepreneurs who are exiting troubled startups.


Founder and General Partner 

Masha Bucher, launched the program in the wake of the recent layoffs at Stripe and Twitter. Her wager? At least 0.1% to 1% of the thousands of employees affected by tech layoffs this year have the potential to become fantastic founders.

The program is basically a structured version of DoubleClick on Ventures’ obsession with mafia founders, or people who left high-profile jobs at even higher-profile companies to start their own. 

The decline that has marked technology’s 2022 adds another element of complexity. For example, if I were laid off from my job, I’m not sure if my first reaction would be to gamble on myself and start a risky business that would most likely fail. 

According to her, this approach is exactly what would weed me (and likely a lot of laid-off tech employees) out of the entrepreneurship field in the first place.


How to Apply

To apply for the program, would-be founders don’t even need to have a fully formed business or startup idea. 

The form requests the founders’ background, top ideas, KPIs, and the why behind their entrepreneurial endeavor. 

To be eligible for the accelerator, at least one co-founder must have recently been laid off, work full-time on the startup, and provide three references.


The last day 

to send in an application is November 25, 2022, and decisions should be made by December 20, 2022.

“In comparison to all other VCs who are taking time off until next year, we’re going to work until December 31st, which is completely OK,” Bucher added. “I just feel that moments like this are just a fantastic chance for us to do a little bit more, to go the extra mile, to not take time off, and to hopefully back some companies that will be on the scale of Coinbase, Airbnb, and Stripe in the future.”




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