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Inc. is excited to announce that, for the first time, we’re expanding our Founder-Friendly Private Equity Firms list to include venture capital firms! Altogether, more than 100 firms will earn our Founder-Friendly seal of approval.

Apply today and let Inc. show the world that your firm believes in backing founder-led businesses and helping them thrive, even in the face of unprecedented challenges. Be recognized as an investment partner that entrepreneurs can trust and collaborate with while receiving the financial support they need to help accelerate growth.

This year, in addition to the overall list, Inc.’s Founder-Friendly Investors package will also recognize firms by their investment strategy, with categories for the size of their portfolio companies and the industries they invest in.

All winning firms will appear in the October Issue of Inc. magazine and on Inc.com. For full application details, see the FAQs. 

 

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Why Apply?

 

For more than 40 years, Inc. magazine has been devoted to providing entrepreneurs with all the tools and resources they need to start, run, grow, and sometimes exit their businesses. Here’s what to expect if your firm makes this year’s list:

  • National Recognition: Business owners across the U.S. will know that your firm helps founder-led companies accelerate growth and create value.

  • Visibility and Media Exposure: You’ll be featured in the October issue of Inc. magazine and see your firm’s listing on Inc.com.

  • Seal of Approval: You’ll receive the Inc. seal of approval that your firm has an impressive track record of helping entrepreneurs.

Be proud of the firm you've created. Take a few minutes to apply and let Inc. magazine declare your firm one of the best for founders.

 

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Apply Now

Final Deadline: April 30, 2021 ($1295)

 

Categories

While every application submitted will be considered for the annual private equity and venture capital lists of Founder-Friendly firms, you may also apply to any of the below categories, creating additional opportunities to see your investment strengths featured in Inc. magazine and on Inc.com. Multiple honorees will be named in each category.

 

 

Business Products and Services

Companies that sell products and services primarily to other businesses.

Health Care

Companies that provide products or services strictly to the health care market.

Consumer Products and Services

Companies that primarily make, distribute, or sell consumer products or consumer services.

Information Technology

Companies whose primary business is IT consulting or the development or management of software, servers, printers, cybersecurity, etc.

Energy

Companies that source or provide power for business and residential customers, as well as companies that provide products and services to energy firms.

Manufacturing

Companies that make both intermediate and finished goods for sale to businesses and consumers.

Financial Services

Companies that provide financing or whose products and services facilitate financial transactions.

Impact Investing

Companies that are focused on making a positive social or environmental impact.

Investment Market Size (for PE Firms)

Be recognized on a special list of firms that invest in lower-middle-market, middle-market, or upper-middle-market companies.

Investment Market Size (for VC Firms)

Be recognized on a special list of firms that invest in seed-stage, early-stage, or growth-stage companies.

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Eligibility

 

  • For investments to qualify, portfolio company founders must have remained actively involved in their business for at least one year post-investment.

  • Firms that manage both private equity and venture capital are eligible to apply in both categories.

Founding family members of multigenerational family-founded businesses are considered founders. Please email our team with any questions at FounderFriendly@inc.com.

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How It Works

 

1.    Complete Your Short Application

Complete the short application here by filling in basic information about your firm and selecting the categories you’d like to apply for. Early-Rate Deadline: April 9, 2021 (Fee: $995) 

2.    Provide Founder References

Inc. will reach out to the founder(s) of one or more of the portfolio companies you’ve provided in your application and ask a series of questions about their experience partnering with your firm.

3.    Watch for Our Announcement of 2021’s Inc. Founder-Friendly Investors

The list goes live on Inc.com in mid-September 2021 and will be featured in the October print issue of Inc. magazine. Whether or not you make the list, you will be notified via email in September, before it is released to the general public.

 

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Apply Now

Final Deadline: April 30, 2021 ($1295)

 

For full application details see our FAQs here.
Questions? Email Inc. at FounderFriendly@inc.com