Hamptons-based venture fund The Seed Lab is incubating the next generation of innovators—with an eye on sustainability.
Supported by Hamptons-based incubator The Seed Lab, Terra Kaffe offers a sustainably crafted solution for coffee enthusiasts. Terra Kaffe South County House Photo Courtesy of The Seed Lab; Background Photo by Anne Nygard/Unsplash
Hamptons-based incubator The Seed Lab supports the growth of minority founders and entrepreneurs in the wellness and sustainability spaces ranging from style blog Something Navy to Ready Set Jet—the vegan skincare company founded by global beauty ambassador Shalini Vadhera—as well as offering local “teach-in” sessions with companies, a series of incubator breakfasts and other opportunities. We checked in with founding partner Jesse Cole to get the lay of the land.
What made you decide to start an incubator and what void did you see in the market? We started The Seed Lab with the intention to support early-stage companies navigating through the challenges and tribulations. All partners at The Seed Lab have been CEOs, founders, operators, and our human capital is as important as the money we invest into these companies. Our ecosystem of experts in various verticals, marketing, supply chain, financial engineering, manufacturing, etc., enable our portfolio companies an extra layer of confidence to support certain initiatives within.
What do you look for when looking at brands to invest in? Thirty to forty percent of our investment thesis is the founders themselves. We look for malleable, responsible, hard-working entrepreneurs that have a clear proof of concept, a focused path to profitability and companies that are not only doing good things for the planet but more so disrupting habits and creating better and more sustainable means to an end.
What advice do you have for brands and founders just starting out? A college professor once asked, ‘What is the definition of an entrepreneur?’ Obviously, we all thought we had the right answer. However, he explained to take the ‘entre’ out, replace it with ‘emotional.’ To be a very good leader in a startup or early-stage business, riding the emotional imbalances day in and day out is what will maintain focus and drive.
What are a few items on your holiday wish list? My wish list: I had Lucy, a black Lab, for 15 ½ years. She passed during COVID, so I am now looking to adopt a new ‘buddy.’ Arf has a good mix, but I haven’t met the perfect pup yet!