Our Startup Application Guidelines

In full transparency and visibility we will tell you everything you need to know about our requirements and approach.

Start your application

Thank you for contacting us. In order for us to review the opportunity, you will need to complete the online application on our Venture Management System. Please review the following guidelines and instructions before applying, if you think that your company is qualified and you are aligned with our process and our timeline, please apply:


  • Funding Series: Pre-Seed – Seed Stage 
  • Response Time: Usually within no more than 72 hours
  • Investment Size: as low as $25K to as high as $500K per deal. 
  • Round Size: $500K – $2.5M (some exception to more then $2.5M)
  • Pre Money Valuation: $6M-$10M (some exception for higher than $10M with high level of traction)
  • Deal Structure: Prefer a Priced Round, Convertible Note. (No SAFE, Please)
  • Traction & Progress:  MVP completed and ready to commence sales in next 6 to 12 months or sooner
  • Sectors: Anything tech based – must be doing real engineering in-house
  • Head Counts: At least 1 full time founder
  • Exit Horizon: We are looking for capital efficient startups that are looking to exit within 3-5 years. 
  • Geography: Primarily, Michigan, MidWest and North America with some in Israel, Australia, Western Europe, those deals require to meet higher benchmarks than others.


We will not change our basic parameters of our investment model. Any of the following conditions will trigger an automatic “No” from us.

  • The round is about to be closed within less than 60 days. 
  • Coin/token offering or SAFT or any Cryptocurrencies.
  • Round size greater than $2.5M. (This is a hard limit. Our soft limit is $1.8M.)
  • Valuation/CAP greater than $10M. (This is a hard limit. Our soft limit is $6-8M.)
  • No outside capital commitment preferred at least 20% of the round spoken for.
  • Deal is being done on a SAFE Note or a KISS. – This is a deal breaker!
  • Primary offering is at the idea, mockup, prototype stage.
  • No full time founders — Even if they plan to become full time after funding. – This is a hard limit.
  • Company is not doing any real engineering of its own.
  • Product/service is pure e-commerce sales, an esports league, or an esports team.
  • Produce/service is related to legal gray areas like marijuana and real money gambling, only legally, morally and ethically business.. Company is based in Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East (except Israel), Africa, India. 
  • China, Southeast Asia,  — Even if the corporate entity is domiciled in the US. Even if the company intends to move its operations to a jurisdiction where we do invest.


What are we looking for?

We have created a set of industry verticals and market sectors that we are committed to focus on to maximize our resources, we have created primary and secondary sectors of choice.

The Primary Sectors:

  1. Med-Tech – Technology applications that are designed for pre & post-procedural interactions. Applications that improve the patients’ experience and reduce the cost of the health system while increasing revenue. Medical Devices
  2. B2B / B2B2C / B2C – SaaS/ AIaaS  – Business to Business scalable applications that are built on a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for fast and easy adoption.
  3. Wearable Tech – Specifically, technologies that are intended for commercial use by law enforcement, military personnel, and safety / high-risk construction and maintenance crews.
  4. Agricultural & Food -Tech – Agricultural & Food Tech companies and technologies that introduce a new and innovative way to supplement and convert out of date farming technology that increase yields, quality, and health of everyday produce while dramatically reducing traditional operating costs.
  5. Intelligent Commerce & Digital Media – Companies that introduces new technologies for online interactive commerce that make mobile online shopping highly engaging and interactive

The Secondary Sectors:

  1. Mobility Tech / Industry 4.0 – Scalable financial technology that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in delivery, process, and transaction, especially in the application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and their role in the future financial market. With a sub sector of aerial drones. 
  2. Fin-Tech – Scalable financial technology that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in delivery, process, and transaction, especially in the application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and their role in the future financial market.
  3. Smart Data Analytics & AI Platforms – Introducing new and innovative ways to collect, organize and visualize data for better decision making process.
  4. Blockchain – Deep Tech – Focusing on Blockchain applications in the decentralizing infrastructure space, streamlining a business process that is in a higher-level need of visibility and verification applications.
  5. Technology In Motion – TIM  Software and Hardware that is designed to be used on mobile devices that can be integrated with business systems that are in constant motion.

Although we have selected the following industries and market sectors, we are agnostic. We will look at other scalable tech on a case by case basis.


We know precisely what we’re looking for and try to be completely transparent. To save you time, we’ll simply tell you how we make decisions.

80%+ of our decision process is based on just five variables:

  1. Founders & Team
  2. Business model.
  3. Unit economics and growth path.
  4. Capital Efficiency. & Traction
  5. Valuation.

The first step in our process is classifying your business model based on the target market and revenue model. We use the following target market categories:

  1. Large Enterprise.
  2. B2B, high price point.
  3. B2B, low price point.
  4. B2C, including B2B2C.

The higher a target market is on the list, the less convincing we need about the scalability, acquisition and delivery economics. We use the following revenue model categories:

  1. Subscription, taking into consideration acquisition costs and churn rate.
  2. Two-sided marketplaces, taking into account acquisition and transaction metrics.
  3. High recurring transactional, taking into account repeat purchasing metrics.
  4. Low recurring transactional.
  5. Affiliate and advertising.

The higher a model is on this list, the lower the traction we need to see for a given valuation. As a rough guide, low recurring transactional revenue is worth about half as much as subscription (at a low churn).

  • After the business model, we look at traction. Traction does  not always mean revenues and firm contracts starting within 60 days. We look at  LOIs or verbal commitments.  1-2 years projections based on solid market studies and comps. 
  • We next consider this traction in the context of unit economics and the growth path.
  • Our database of our portfolio companies and thousands more applications mean we know the typical unit economics and growth trajectories of companies at this stage across our business model categories. If your metrics on these dimensions are higher, we need to see less gross profit. If they’re lower, we need to see more.
  • The final consideration before valuation is capital efficiency. Our model places a high premium on companies that consume less capital. These companies can do more with less and therefore have a better chance of surviving and achieving a sustainably growing business.
  • We judge capital efficiency in terms of how much money you’ve previously taken from investors, your historical cash burn, and your projected cash burn. Beyond a modest level of capital intensity, we’re usually not willing to invest at all. Below that threshold, the lower your capital requirements, the less traction we need to see.

At the end of our analysis, we combine all these factors into a valuation. We make 90% of our investments at a $6M to $10M valuation. ** Valuation scales with MRR according to the factors described above.


Just to ensure fast turnaround, the Executive Summaries and Power Points should have the following elements in them, for review, to be selected for an in-person presentation by company representatives:

  • Start with Why?, What? And How?
  • Problem being addressed
  • Market need, size, and your solution
  • Product or Service explained
  • Technology
  • Competition Analysis
  • Marketing & Sales Strategy 
  • Intellectual Property (what is protected and how)
  • Management team
  • What is the “ASK” & Terms –  plus use of proceeds
  • Deal Structure – Priced Round / CN etc..
  • Exit strategy and horizon
  • Financial overview and assumptions (see example below)
  • Revenue Projections ($000) YR 1  –  YR 2  –  YR 3  – YR 4  –  YR 5

Include in your application:

  • Full Cap Table with names and total invested
  • Make sure you do not include SAFE or CN on Cap Table  add it in current debt
  • Draft Term Sheet
  • Draft Subscription agreement
  • IP Documentions 
  • Industry Research papers
  • Any other relevant information to support your business.


City Side provides solutions to find and manage investments for investors and corporate ventures using today’s technology. With the development of Sidepitch our online Venture Management System (VMS), we have automated the process of investments from start to finish. Application Submitted online!

  • 00 – 07 DAYS – Application Screening & Qualifying
  • 07 – 10 DAYS – First Intro Pitch ( will be recorded )
  • 10 – 20 DAYS – Start & Complete the Due Diligence / create the DD summary
  • 20 – 25 DAYS – Management review 
  • 25 – 30 DAYS – Formal Investor Showcase Pitch (follow Up- After the showcase presentation, we will schedule up to two follow up zoom sessions with the interested investors.)
  • 30 – 35 DAYS – Final Decision YES / NO decision 
  • 35 – 45 DAYS – If YES – Issue Capital Call and collect commitments
  • 45 – 60 DAYS – Closing the Transaction


TERMS & CONDITIONS   This is an agreement of understanding between the presenting startup (“Company”) and CitySide Ventures LLC. (“CSV”) Your Company was selected and accepted to present to CitySide Investors Network for the purpose of raising venture funding, The Company hereby agrees to the following terms and conditions:

  • In the event that the Company will receive greater than $50k in funding from CitySide Investor Network (CIN) the Company agrees to pay CSV an administration & coordination fee of $2,600 per round of funding. It is a one time fee regardless of the final amount of funding. 
  • If the Company elects for CSV to Syndicate the deal with investors outside our CitySide Investor Network including our venture partners  and the Company receives funding from our partners in the amount that is greater than $50K, CSV will charge an additional administration & coordination fee of $1,800 post funding.
  • The administration fee will be billed to the Company upon receiving the funding and clear in the receiving company bank account. The Company will be required to pay the invoice within 7 business days.
  • It is understood by the Company that all verbal or nonverbal commitments that are made by the CitySide Investor Network for funding are based on the information provided by the Company. In the event that any or part of the information to be found to be inaccurate, misleading or misrepresented, all deals and financial commitments will be immediately void.
  • The Company agrees to honor the commitment for investment by CitySide Investors Network or by SPV created by CSV if completed within 30-days of the Showcase presentation. The Company founders and management team will make themselves available for up to 2 face-to-face and/or videos (call) conferences that will be scheduled in advance of closing.
  • The Company founders and the management team agree to receive private calls from individual investors and respond within 48 hours.
  • The Company hereby agrees and permits CSV to post the name of the Company on the CSV webpage with name and logo and publish a press release with a portfolio update after funding that will be approved by the Company.
  • The Company is hereby prohibited from disclosing any information pertaining to CitySide Investor Network including name and contact information, CSV business operations, and practices without the expressed permission of CSV.

POST INVESTMENT REQUIREMENTS:   To make sure that we are clear on our philosophy and process we have created the following requirement guidelines following an investment from CSV, CAN and or Birmingham Angels.

  • The Founder(s) will be available for a monthly 15 to 30-minutes “Check-Point” call for a quick update.
  • The Founder(s) will send a quarterly update to CSV using our web link: http://citysideventures.com/birmingham-angels-portfolio-monthly-update/
  • Communicate any breakdowns and or important issues to investors sooner than later.
  • In the event of any legal issues arising that might impact the company and possibly the investors, it is paramount that your company will provide all documentation to CSV to be distributed to the investors immediately.


Yes, we know. We are asking for a lot of information. The one critical  thing we have learned, the more prepared the startup will be coming to the table, the faster we will make our decision. Investment decisions are all about time and capital, we need your partnership to ensure we will act quickly. Our Power Tips:

  • Complete your application with velocity. It will take 1-2 hours to complete in order to save a month of work.
  • Make it a complete application, do not skip anything
  • The more information you provide the the less we will need to ask
  • Use the application to learn what you need to work on
  • Practice your pitch prior to our scheduled investor showcase
  • Test your technology, internet connection, the computer is fully charred and your slide deck is uploaded and ready to share. 
  • Last by not least, know your numbers backward and forwards. The one thing investors are sensitive to is a Founder or a CEO that does know his/her numbers.


City Side Ventures LLC (“CSV”) offers venture management services to qualified venture capital funds, private equity funds and family offices funds ONLY under contract. CSV is operating under the exemption of Section 203(I) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisors Act”) pursuant to the final rules promulgated by the SEC1.

City Side Ventures LLC (“CSV”) is a  service firm that is in the business of offering a variety of services which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Angels & Early Stage Fund & Investment Management
  • Venture Capital Fund Management
  • Syndication Management
  • Tech Incubation


Although our closing ratio is higher than usual, you might go through the entire application process, our team will put in the work and yet CitySide Venture does not provide any guarantees, warrants or any promises of any kind that your startup will be funded.

By applying, you acknowledge that you will allow CitySide 60-Days from the time your application was published to close. If your company is intending to close or has a mandate that the round should or need to be closed in less than 60-day, please do not apply. We are committed to our process Pitch-To-Funding in 60-Days or less. Now that you are clear, please continue with the online application below. We are looking forward to reviewing your application and to give you a “YES” asap.

Now, after completing reading our application guidelines and would like to apply, please use the following link.

Now, after completing reading our application guidelines and would like to apply, please use the following link.

Start Your Funding Application

In 60-Days or Less!

Application Sponsored By:

Client Executive | Technology Practice
734.929.3928 | 734.395.7198 | kapnick.com

Book time with Michael Spath: Availability


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