What we do.
Founded by entrepreneurs The Refiners is a San Francisco-based Seed Fund Program devoted to helping world-class entrepreneurs thrive in the bountiful yet complicated environment of Silicon Valley. We are passionate about the needs of international startups, and believe they are different enough to warrant a program specifically for them. Over a three-month period, startups usually receive funding, networking and mentorship opportunities in Silicon Valley.
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.
Innovation is everywhere, but you can’t afford not to be in Silicon Valley if you want to have a global impact in the digital space. Moving to the Valley, however, is a brutal process — competition is fierce, network is key, and time-to-market is of the essence.
Our mission is to provide foreign founders with an established network upon arrival — 200+ Silicon Valley mentors who have joined forces to select, advise, and invest in the world’s most promising startups.
This unparalleled access — to key executives, entrepreneurs, investors, experts, business and technological leaders — makes The Refiners one of the most effective cross-border Seed Fund in the world.
CEO at PassRight
“The Refiners has been a mind blowing experience for me. I adore this accelerator and I kinda wish I could do it all over again. I learned so much. Came with little expectation and got so much from it. This is the place to learn the ins and outs of fund raising and SV culture.”
COO at Lalilo
“Think global from day 1, present the problem we are solving and our ambition, put the first step in the American culture. Easy to say, harder to master. Thanks to The Refiners, one year after, we raised +1M seed round, have hired 15 employees (including 3 in SF) and are about to end illiteracy. The Refiners saved us so much time and mistakes!”
CEO at The Beans
“The Refiners 'made' us pitch as many as 9 times a day to experienced and talented venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and industry veterans. There's no doubt in my mind that this no-nonsense 'baptism by fire' prepared me to raise our pre-seed round.”
CEO at Shone
“The Refiners has been a game changer for us. It's been the most beneficial help we could get in our early days. It's way more than just a program, Pierre, Carlos and Geraldine are top class angel investors who remain our first call when things go wrong. I'd highly recommend having them on your captable. We met our seed lead investor through them - priceless.”
CEO at Sparkwork
“We had known from day one that the US and the Silicon Valley is the place for Sparkwork to create a global impact. But from Helsinki to Silicon Valley sounded like a daunting task involving too much of money and time. Thankfully, we got accepted into The Refiners, which laid the perfect platform for us to enter the US market. Three months during the program: we fine-tuned our pitch, created a network of partners, mentors and advisors, got first clients from the USA, and raised the pre-seed funding too!”
CEO at Veamly
“The Refiners is truly a great program. The best part is having the partners and the team working so close with us. For 3 months, you feel like you have an extension to your team with super high profile people who can help you with feedback, challenge you and get you in the right direction. Every day, I learnt something new and I do believe that the journey will always continue, even with the end of the program.”
CEO at Phantombuster
“I thought I knew the American culture; I was wrong! The Refiners is more than an acceleration program. They train foreign entrepreneurs to catch up on the social norms on how to do business in the US. Everything becomes possible when you have the network and the customs. The Refiners provide both (+ alcohol on Fridays). This experience changed Phantombuster for the best!”
COO at RapidMathematix
“It’s a great program considering the very fact that time spent by founders of Refiners with each and every startup is so immense as against any mentors or advisors. The passion to make every startup succeed is their only goal and they successfully achieve it by nurturing entrepreneurs in multiple directions be it Funding, Product Fit or even going back to basics in identifying the real problem every startup is looking to solve and refine the journey like the name says! Most importantly they set the stage with real investors in a planned fashion and make you ready for the journey ahead.”
CEO at Adok
“The Refiners is a perfect immersion in Silicon Valley culture. Learn the ropes, the codes and meet the right people. It's all about who you know there, and knowing Geraldine, Carlos and Pierre is a good start!”
COO at Big Boy Systems
“If you are ready to take a new look at oneself and challenge your entire company, The Refiners program totally suits you. The life of your start-up will be in full-speed for three months, you will decide, try, succeed, fail and try again faster. You won't find a more efficient way to really discover your co-founders and your team. And be surrounded by smart and inquisitive people from the Bay Area and everywhere is so stimulating.”
CEO at Satochi
“The Refiners was an enormous learning curve for me and I'm super grateful to have had this experience. Surrounded by some great folks during the program has been awesome. Thanks Carlos, Pierre, Keenan & Geraldine.”
CEO at Wisebatt
“Geraldine, Carlos and Pierre are expert in their own fields, with the three of them they cover all the subject any young startup needs to address. Thanks to them and their amazing network of mentors, we had a unique insight on fund-raising. Moving three months in the Silicon Valley allowed us to better craft our product while understanding the American market and start growing our own network there. Beyond just strengthening the business side, The Refiners and the others fleet's startups helped us grow really quicker. I would definitively do it again if I had to, I can't recommend it enough.”
CEO at Lovebox
“The Refiners helped us think strategically about our company, not just about our product. Meeting mentors and investors with years of experience in the Valley helped us understand the codes necessary to do business there. And having Carlos's metaphors before his Facebook fans is a real privilege.”
CEO at dresslife
“Joining The Refiners with our entire team and moving to San Francisco was an incredible experience. We benefited from amazing masterclasses that helped to demystify what it takes to raise money and how the Silicon Valley works. Also, the partners and the other teams enabled us to improve our business model and our operational performance a lot.”
Co-founder of Heroes
“The program is perfectly structured. Not only the mentors are addressing all the pain points that investors will crush you with during the pitch but they also put you toward the right direction to help you take the decisions that might help you turn your company into the unicorn you are planning on building! You have ambition but realize that anyone needs help and good advice? Do you want to be challenged among the best? Then the Refiners will put you on the track to crush Silicon Valley!”
CEO at WeLoop
“The Refiners gave us the keys to think BIG and GLOBAL. They push you in the heart of the Silicon Valley by surrounding with experts and Alumni with exceptional skills. Thank you guys for bringing us into another dimension, and to continue to accompany us :)”
“The Refiners understands what it means to be an entrepreneur. Being a local doesn't mean you know how the game is played, but Refiners makes sure you understand.”
CEO at Merito
“A lot of insights, advice and punches during those 3 months! Great program to grow up as a company and as a founder. One objective: outperform in the Silicon Valley! Thank you to TR team and Fleet 3 :)”
CEO at Daylighted
“What an amazing gateway to the Silicon Valley! Not only we benefited from the value of the program, we also met and bond with amazing, inspiring, talented fellow entrepreneurs. Keep it up!”
CEO at Twist
“Be ready to get on a roller coaster: We pivoted our company after a couple of weeks into the program and ended it up disguised as a horse for pitch night! If you are ready to unlearn what you know and you are open to straightforward feedback then The Refiners is the best accelerator to think global. Thank you guys!”
We decided to throw a mixer for our amazing mentors from our past and present program. At The Refiners "Mentor Mixer", mentors got to connect with each other and Fleet #5 in an informal, but intimate environment.
Read our blog.
Meet our alumni.
We have invested in 56 startups from all over the world. We are proud to help them on a daily basis to become global startups and leaders in their field.