The Refiners is a San Francisco-based seed fund program founded by 3 entrepreneurs devoted to helping foreign startups thrive in the bountiful, yet complicated environment of Silicon Valley. We are now running our thrid fleet of startups, and serve the next leaders in the hottest tech industries of the day.

Our program connects inductees to hundreds of mentors, investors, coaches and potential partners in an intense three month curriculum. We are passionate about the needs of foreign startups, and believe they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them. There is a huge cultural gap with foreign founded startups and Silicon Valley, so we're here to build a bridge for it. We aim to equip foreign startups with the tools necessary to expand their startup’s vision at a global scale and leave a footprint in the U.S. 

We help our startups meet with key people in the Silicon Valley (on average 200 separate meetings for each startup to not only meet, but have intimate chats about their steps to success as entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley during our 264-hour program). The heavy involvement of mentors and other experts is designed to give you the experience in the field, rather than to simply educate you and leave you to find your way on your own. 

Here is how our program works (12 weeks):

  • 1/3 of the program is focused on acclimating startups to the new culture, getting them to unlearn what they’ve learned, adapt their project to the Silicon Valley and refining their product position, strategy, and startup pitch.
  • 2/3 of the program is focused on pitching key influencers and investors in Silicon Valley. Each startup gets the chance to meet mentors, and people from all aspects of the tech business here.
  • 3/3 of the program is focused on pitching with the Silicon Valley investors community and preparing Pitch Night. We created a program called "Investor Fireside Chat" where each startup has face time with the Refiners’ growing network of investors in Silicon Valley and Europe.

The Refiners accepts startups at all stages of development (pre-seed, seed, Series A+). 

Startups are accepted in “fleets” of 12 to 15 companies and share a common workspace in the heart of San Francisco’s thriving SOMA district. For three months, our startups receive coaching from our team and constant feedback from our mentor network.

  • $50-100,000 in funding
  • 90 days in San Francisco to adapt to Silicon Valley culture and learn the rules of the game
  • Free office space, master classes, workshops, coaching, mentorship, staff resources
  • Weekly challenges to immerse your team in Silicon Valley culture outside the office
  • A powerful and actionable local network of entrepreneurs, technology leaders, innovators, experts, partners and investors (both American and European)
  • +250 hours of mentoring focused on: bridging the cultural gap, maintaining company culture in a trans-Atlantic team, global strategy, product/business plans, go-to-market strategy, growth and fundraising
  • Constant feedback on communication, marketing, pitching, growth hacking and sales strategy
  • Assistance with technical matters including: legal, immigration, HR, accounting, hosting...
  • A Pitch Night is organized with the most active investors and influencers that Silicon Valley has to offer.


For startups that have raised less than $500k:
The Refiners invests up to $50,000 for 5-7% equity (Program Fee: $15k)

For startups that have raised between $500k and $1M:
The Refiners invests $50-100,000 for 3-5% equity (Program Fee: $25k)

For startups that have raised more than $1M:
No investment (Program Fee: $50k + advisory shares)