A Perfect Blend of Strategy, Networking and Funding.

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 fourth fleet of startups, and serve the next leaders in the hottest tech industries of the day.

We focus on investing in pre-seed and seed stage founders. Our bread-and-butter is investing in and supporting excellent founders who may just have an idea and a bare-bones MVP. We are sector-agnostic / generalists - we've done investments in all areas from BtoC to BtoB.

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 100 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 220-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 strategy acclimating startups to the new culture, getting them to unlearn what they’ve learned, learn the unknown and adapt their project to the Silicon Valley by refining their product position, strategy, and startup pitch.
  • 2/3 of the program is focused on networking with 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 fundraising 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.

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.

  • We invest up to $100k in exchange for minimum 5%. We charge a $25k fee for participation in The Refiners Seed Program
  • 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
  • A powerful and actionable local network of entrepreneurs, technology leaders, innovators, experts, partners and investors (both American and European) 
  • +220 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 coaching on communication, marketing, pitching, growth, sales and fundraising
  • 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.