All companies applying to HAN must meet the following criteria:
- The company must be an early stage company seeking financing (pre-seed, seed, bridge, Series A) in the form of equity, debt, or debt with an equity component (i.e. convertible debt or debt with warrants).
- The company must have a valuation or convertible note cap below $10M. HAN will consider companies with valuations over $10M in select cases where significant customer and revenue traction has been achieved.
- In order to be seriously considered, a company must have a completed, working prototype and have market validation (pilot, beta users, revenue). Exceptions may be granted depending on the nature of the industry and product.
- HAN does not review professional services and consulting firms, real estate developments, films, bars, restaurants or spas.
* Note: HAN as an organization does not take an equity position. Each individual member will make their own investment decision.
Application & Selection Process
HAN hosts a pitch meeting each month (with the exception of July and December). Three new companies are selected for each pitch meeting.
Step 1: Apply Online
Please apply through the Apply for Funding button on the top right of this website. Your company must complete an application at least one month prior to the targeted pitch date. It is always better to apply early!
Step 2: Deal Committee Review
Once your company applies, one of the HAN Deal Committees (Energy, Life Sciences, Consumer, Tech, or Aerospace) will review the deal and assign a HAN reviewer if the company is a good fit for HAN. The HAN reviewer is typically a HAN member, but can include the Managing Director or a HAN Venture Associate. This reviewer will set up a 30 minute to hour call or meeting to learn more about the company. Deal Committee meetings occur during the last week of every month.
Step 3: Internal Selection Committee Vote
If your company advances through a Deal Committee, it will be presented at an internal selection committee meeting by the HAN reviewer. At this meeting HAN votes to advance three companies to present at the upcoming monthly pitch meeting. Internal Selection Committee Votes occur on the first Wednesday of every month.
Step 4: Pitch Meeting
Companies that are selected to pitch at the monthly meeting will have 8 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes for Q&A. Pitch meetings occur on the third Wednesday of every month with the exception of July and December.
Step 5: Due Diligence & Funding
After the company presentations, members who are interested in a follow up meeting are invited to sign up on a sign up sheet or approach the entrepreneurs directly. The entrepreneur is responsible for following up with these investors and responding to their requests for additional data or another meeting. Interested investors might collaborate on due diligence and negotiations. Investment decisions, however, are made on an individual basis. HAN does not participate in due diligence conversations or term sheet negotiations.
Step 6: Follow-up
After a funding decision has been made, HAN may ask for additional information from time to time. This information will be used to track HAN’s performance and update our members on the company’s progress. Companies that receive funding are also welcome to come back to HAN and provide an update once a year.
- There is no cost for companies to apply
- HAN as an organization does not invest in deals or take any part of the deal.
- HAN does not give investment advice. Members make their own individual investment decisions.
- HAN reserves the right to request additional information during the application process which may include (but not be restricted to) data on finances, IP, partnerships, and/or management background.
- HAN or its members do not execute non-disclosure/confidentiality agreements during the screening process.
- The selection process is highly competitive due to the number of applications we receive. HAN cannot guarantee funding or investor interest for companies that participate in an investment process screening.
- Presentation to HAN does not guarantee funding from HAN Members or referrals to other funding sources.
The 10 slides that every presentation should include:
- The Problem
- The Solution & Value Proposition
- The Magic (IP, Secret Sauce)
- Business Model (How you will make money)
- Go to Market Plan (How you will find customers)
- Financials & Key Metrics
- Current Progress to Date
- Fundraise & Use of Funds
In addition to funding, HAN members are active in the innovation ecosystem in Houston, throughout Texas, and beyond. You can find HAN members at local events either judging or providing mentorship.
Please contact the following organizations if you are seeking a mentorship, including from HAN members:
- Station Houston
- The Cannon
- Mass Challenge
- Capital Factory
- Ignite Network
- Global Energy Mentors
- Texas Medical Center Innovation
- Rice: OwlSpark
- University of Houston: RED Labs
What to Expect from Mentors
Mentors should be willing to provide guidance and feedback your company’s business based on their knowledge, skills, experience, and expertise. Mentors will be able to provide feedback and guidance in key areas such as your pitch deck, business plan and financial projections, fundraising, hiring, and legal.
How to Be a Good Mentee
It is important to remember that while members of HAN are investors, you should not approach a mentor session as an investment pitch. Be sure to research you mentor’s skills and experience and have good questions prepared regarding a specific area they may be able to help you with. Ask the mentor if you can keep them apprised of your progress. Remember, mentorship should be a two way street. Mentorship relationships are only as valuable if both the mentor and mentee work to cultivate the relationship.