Grzegorz Kossakowski - profile picture

Grzegorz Kossakowski

Deep Learning ∩ Applications. A recent pivot from a 'promising career' in systems programming (core team behind the Scala programming language). Pastime: Ambient Computing.

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Occasionally, I write early checks for technology startups, either through a syndicate I’m part of or individually. My focus is on AI, and I am most energized by end-user applications. I tend to think there is a strong oversupply of infrastructure companies in AI.

As of March 2024, I have paused my investing activities to focus solely on applying AI in legal at Hotseat. Please, do not reach out with pitches but monitor this page for updates.

Writing Checks

I write early checks for technology startups that start with a narrow focus. I only invest in US-based entities, ideally incorporated through Stripe Atlas. If you are a European founder, you can incorporate with Stripe Atlas for $500, entirely remotely. The process takes about 20 hours of active work, and I highly recommend it for all the business infrastructure (banking, legal, etc.) you get in the bundle.

I don’t require traction, but I do require proof of independent work and consistent shipping of working software solving a specific problem you’re passionate about.

My personal checks are small, up to $20k, but I have access to a much larger pool of early-stage capital if necessary.

No pitch decks, please. I vastly prefer reading a tight narrative laid out over 2-3 pages.

I do not invest in ventures with the EU “startup” funds backing; the terms on which EU hands out the money are misaligned with building ambitious technology ventures, and sadly, ill-spent.

Receiving Checks

I am not currently raising for Hotseat; the business’s progress is not capital-bound. However, if I were to raise, here’s the pecking order of people I’d be excited to raise money from at my stage:

  1. Founders actively working on their product.
  2. Former founders.
  3. Domain experts (legal, tech).
  4. Smart, differentiated VCs who have written pieces of insightful content that I appreciated or worked with founders I respect.

This list does not include MBAs or well-networked individuals connected to wealthy families. There’s nothing wrong with the people of that profile, but they’re often prone to lose sight of capital being a commodity.

Building early-stage technology companies is an art form that can be learned only through direct experience, hard work, and wounds acquired along the way. I prefer working with people who have gone through that process. I believe deep competence and realistic outlook on challenges are two great foundational pillars for a lasting, satisfying business relationship.

In business there are laws akin to laws of physics one shouldn’t fight. Entrepreneurship has fewer rules so exceptions to the above apply.