INVESTING

early

behind

Massive

trends.

Historical change is like an avalanche. The starting point is a snow-covered mountainside that looks solid. All changes take place under the surface and are rather invisible. But something is coming. What is impossible is to say when.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
Avalanches are unstoppable.
investment
focus

Avalanche VC invests early in technology companies transforming how people learn, earn, and own.

Learn

At the foundation of every successful life is a learning journey. Learning compounds and creates more demand for itself. Everyone will need to continue to learn over their entire lifespan. We invest in technology that delivers learning outcomes at scale at every life stage and in many contexts.

Earn

The world of work and career is changing to be platform-driven, flexible, and independent. Everyone is an entrepreneur, or they must learn to think like one. We invest in platforms that increase empowerment, improve efficiency and productivity, and increase skills in every vertical. 

Own

In every society, optimizing ownership of assets is key to success. In the AI-driven era, owning data and rights to intellectual property is critical. Accumulating appreciating and income-generating assets are the goal of every earner. The effectiveness of the state is crucial to wealth building. We invest in technology that increases ownership of assets, powers small and medium-sized businesses, and efficiently delivers public services.

Featured Portfolio Companies

We invest in founders catalyzing the future and building their life's work.

We are early backers to founders building the future

Katelyn is experienced, real, and caring — a breath of fresh air. She brings the investor mindset you wish every VC had. Avalanche VC was one of our earliest supporters, and I'm grateful for how responsive they've been as thought partners and connectors to their network.

Testimonial Authors Image
Vince Jeong
|
CEO
,
Sparkwise

Katelyn has been THE MOST impactful investor for Tribute. She’s smart, has incredible judgment, and is extremely well-connected.

Testimonial Authors Image
Sarah Haggard
|
Founder
,
Tribute

We couldn’t have built Odyssey without her help. Katelyn was there from literally Day 1. We met for six months straight before we even started the company officially

Testimonial Authors Image
Joe Connor
|
Founder
,
Odyssey

Katelyn has been one of our best investors. Why? Her network, intellect, and eagerness to help are incredible. If you can work with her, grab it with both hands.

Testimonial Authors Image
Deepak Sekar
|
CEO
,
Prof Jim

Katelyn’s hands-on experience in scaling businesses is evident in her strategic guidance, making her an indispensable asset for any founder. For Upright Education, Katelyn's involvement has been much more than financial support; it's been a true partnership from day one.

Testimonial Authors Image
Benny Boas
|
CEO
,
Upright Education
Thinking

Browse our latest reflections as we look ahead to what is obviously the future.

Learn

Alternative Education Goes Mainstream

A little choice goes a long way. Parents are voting with their feet and, soon, with government dollars.

Podcast

Matching the Right School for You

Chris Neilson, industrial organization for schools, increasing competition, closing the digital divide in schools, implementing government policy

Podcast

The New Path to Home Ownership

Catalina Kaiyoorawongs, Qualifying for a Mortgage, Restructuring Student Debt, First Time Homeowners, LoanSense

Podcast

The Power of Story: Turning fiction into reality

Damien Walter, Science Fiction Community, TechnoOptimism Manifesto, Storytelling, SciFi as the great leveler

Podcast

The New Era of Entrepreneurial Storytellers

Wesley Wang, nothing except everything, modern film making, chess champion, everyone is an entrepreneur

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Our Manifesto

+

Avalanche VC – A TechnoHumanist Manifesto

Change is the only constant. Everywhere technology is bounding ahead, and new, massive opportunities are emerging. Technology is surging. Yet, many legacy institutions are calcified in the past.

Basic human desires remain the same. Peace, stability, health, and progress have been priorities for humanity.

Technology is the driving force for improving quality of life, but the pace of change is now exponential.  Humanity struggles to keep up. Meanwhile, the demographics of humanity are reshaping society as lifespans are increasing and fertility rates are plummeting. The pyramid of age is being inverted. This has profound implications that are in the midst of transformation.

Technology Exponential Graph
Linear institutions, exponential technologies and the exponential gap
Lifespans are increasing globally
Source: Our world In Data
Steady decline in the fertility rate below replacement
Source: Our world In Data

The old formula for achieving personal prosperity is failing to produce results. Learning outcomes are stagnating. People are demanding more autonomy and freedom. Digital platforms facilitate increased productivity, but incomes are often stagnant. Legacy institutions are unable to product results and that is now visible. The future is not fully here.

What is required for a prosperous society in a reverse demographic period is amid dramatic transformation. How people learn, earn, and own is at the core of what is being reinvented. It is still early days.

The future looks different, but how?

Shifts in demographics and technology create the conditions for societal changes. Culture, economic structure, and public policy all eventually change based on these immutable forces. We refer to the trends that emerge as avalanches.

Every avalanche starts with invisible changes underneath the surface. They are difficult to see, in small niches, and are imperceivable except to those who are determined to find them and desperately paying attention.  

Once triggered, avalanches are unstoppable.

We conduct deep research, think analytically, and develop proprietary perspectives around these small shifts before they are broadly obvious.  

We partner with founders who perceive the invisible trends, use the latest technological advances, and build the new reality. These founders have been building far before  the landscape changed.  

Our capital is deployed to catalyze and capture the value behind the avalanche.

Changing systems and producing results at scale.

We focus initially on technologies transforming how people learn, earn, and own because these are core to the human experience, and each contain tipping points.

Learn

At the foundation of every successful life is a learning journey. Human social brains are wired to be curious and experimental. Learning compounds and creates more demand for itself. As incomes grow, the share of GDP going to education rises.

In a society automated by machine intelligence, the value of learning and being learned will be foundational and exceptional. Salespeople teach their customers. Scientists pioneer new technologies based on significant knowledge bases. Skilled laborers fix the infrastructure that we live in. Everyone, everywhere, will be supercharged by computer assistants, but they will need to know the foundations and key skills to stay ahead.

PRISMS OF REALITY - The new platform for STEM Education using spatial reasoning

Earn

The world of work and career is fundamentally changing to be more platform-driven, flexible, and independent. The talent marketplace is now global, skilled talent can geo-arbitrage and jurisdictions will compete for talent.

Everyone is an entrepreneur, or they must learn to think like one. We invest in platforms that drive a shift to greater efficiency and empowerment and increase skills in every vertical.

HUMANLY.IO - AI-Driving easier and more equitable hiring

Own

In every society, optimizing ownership of assets is the key to success.

Demographic and technological trends is driving huge changes in the key economic parts of ownership.

Effective public goods are critical to every society, but traditional institutions have yet to adopt to modern times. Startups will implement and run last-mile delivery of government programs to achieve public goals.

Pensions and home ownership have traditionally provided a buffer of savings and stability for aging populations, yet their accessibility is changing.  

In an AI-driven economy, owning data and rights to your intellectual property will be a critical element of wealth. Blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and programable money are technological solutions to decentralize ownership.

BLUESKY - End-to-end best-in-class software allowing for user control and ownership

We back founders catalyzing the future and building their life’s work.

We look for smart, thoughtful, and structured founders who take every element of their work seriously. The founders we back have prior work experience demonstrating excellence and high performance.

Founders who view their companies as their ‘life’s work,’ and who are solving a problem they care deeply about will persist. Our founders view their customers' success as integral to their own. This alignment of incentives creates a powerful formula for results.

Our job is to talent and idea scouts and then deep partners to our founders. We will do whatever it takes to help them be successful post-investment. Sometimes this means getting out of the way. Sometimes this means taking an active, partnering role.

Massive Success

We will unlock of trillions of dollars of economic output when our founders succeed.

The outcome will be enormous when the Avalanche opportunity meets the determined founder and is catalyzed with capital.

All big things start small. We are dedicated to massive success in a decades-long time frame. We know anything is possible with enough grit, talent, and belief.

My Life’s Work

For me, avalanche is personal. I’ve built my career from my early days leading Duke’s largest student union to pioneering low-cost private school chains in the developing world to building Delivery Associates. I have a keen eye for talent and ideas who are undervalued and whose time has come.

My last venture was building Delivery Associates with Sir Michael Barber. As an analyst at McKinsey, I met Michael and instantly saw the power of deliverology in action. It was clear to me early that Michael was a unique and visionary leader whose ideas were fundamentally important to the world. It was obvious from the inbound demand from clients, customers, and jobseekers that Delivery Associates was needed in the world. While we raised capital, I invested my career and sweat equity from the early days of idea formation to the final stages of negotiation in the exit to Private Equity. I loved building the company into an institution that disrupted an industry and aim to do that again.

Over my investing and operating career, I’ve seen the power of capital allocators. Investors decide which visions get funded and where we invest our finite time. With Avalanche, as with Delivery Associates, I aspire to be the premier partner to the most outrageously ambitious founders who are building their life’s work.

I’m not in this business to collect lottery tickets, blindly accumulate assets, or jump into party rounds. I’m here to work with serious people on serious ideas. We are not commodity capital.

I love working with founders to will the future into existence. Investors who do the work and have conviction, particularly early, can create the avalanches we need to push society forward and crowd-in capital. This is my life’s work.
Lastly, our firm is serious about how we do business.

  • Think independently. We don’t care what the crowd thinks. We use our own judgment and collect primary evidence to form original perspectives.
  • Outrageously ambitious, long-term and relentlessly practical today.  The future will be vastly different, but the reality of the world today needs to be addressed. We don’t lose sight of what’s needed on what timeframe.
  • Life-long relationships built on shared values. Success for us looks like building life-long relationships with our LPs, founders, team members and network partners. We are creating wealth together.
  • Stewardship of capital. We operate with humility, transparency, and integrity in all aspects of investing and capital management. Our goal is to maximize financial outcomes from all our partners.
  • Out cooperate the competition. We have a carry-share program for our network partners and advisors who help us build relationships and understand avalanche opportunities.

Join us.

We are amid huge societal transformations. We seek to investors, builders, and founders who share our long-term vision of the future and want to build together. This is our avalanche.

Please always be in touch.

Katelyn Donnelly
Founder, Avalanche VC