Curious Minds

Founded in 2004, Curious Minds is a privately-held company that operates and invests in technology startups.

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Curious Minds is a hybrid incubator-accelerator-angel investor firm designed for startup founders with entrepreneurship in their DNA. We nurture great ideas into Minimum Viable Products and then into independent revenue-generating companies.

Our approach to business development is based on Eric Ries' Lean Startup method. According to Ries, startups can reduce risks and expenses by iteratively building products that meet the needs of their early customers. At Curious Minds, we help entrepreneurs to apply these ideas to their own startups, ensuring traction, growth, revenue, and additional funding.

Lean Lab @ CM

CuriousMinds' Lean Lab helps turn great business ideas into Minimum Viable Products, by guiding founders through the critical yet often overlooked processes of market research and customer development.

  • First, the Lean Lab helps founders understand the core assumptions in their business model and implements techniques to identify and assess factors that may jeopardize the success of the business through risk prioritization.
  • The riskiest assumptions, those crucial to the business model, are then tested in "The Problem Stage," where founders focus solely on validating the assumption that they are in fact solving a real problem for their customers by analyzing customer frustrations and the effectiveness of existing alternatives.
  • Next, founders begin to gauge product-market fit by incorporating customer feedback directly into the development of their product's unique value proposition within "The Solution Stage."
  • Finally, once a product-market fit is established, a niche customer and customer archetype is identified. The customer's problem is validated, as is the unique value proposition that holds the solution to the customer's problem. The founder must validate that the customer is willing and able to pay for the proposed solution (ideally with a financial commitment), thus ensuring the validity of the business model all before a single line of code is written in development of an MVP. Through this methodology, the Lean Lab aims to reduce risk and expense by saving founders time and development resources.

Featured Companies

TeleSign protects the world's largest Internet properties against fraud with two-factor authentication. TeleSign Intelligent Authentication identifies and substantially reduces online fraud and spam using the most widely deployed technology — a user’s phone.

  • Grew 2013 revenue to $50 million, from $25 million in 2012
  • Ranked #15 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500TM (2011)
  • Named Visionary in Magic Quadrant for User Authentication by Gartner, Inc.
  • Has raised $78 million in venture capital

Ringadoc provides cross-platform communication software for healthcare professionals, their patients, office staff, and cross-coverage providers. Leveraging existing technology and natural behavior, Ringadoc brings doctors and patients closer than ever while making the lives of healthcare professionals easier.

  • Raised $1.9 million in seed funding from Founders Fund's FF Angel, Siemer Ventures, Telegraph Hill Capital, and other top Silicon Valley investors
  • Used by over 1.5 million patients nationwide

ShowKit is a software development kit that enables developers to easily add interactive features such as video conferencing, audio conferencing, screen sharing, and gesture sharing to their mobile apps.

  • First mobile solution for real-time support
  • Acquired 2000+ beta testers since launching in 2013
  • TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2014 Finalist

Authorly is a digital publishing platform that enables anyone to create interactive, cross-platform storybook apps. Using an intuitive web interface, authors can build beautiful, unique, and powerful native applications for Android and iOS devices.

Brand Reporter helps companies to fight counterfeiters with a white-labeled, cross-platform reporting application. Through the app, employees report infringing items, which companies can then investigate and respond to as they deem necessary.

TSN Advertising seeks to become the new billboard...just without traditional billboard pricing. With over 150 wrapped advertising trucks and clients including the Clippers, Chumash Casino, Jamba Juice, and Boost Mobile, TSN Advertising seeks to reinvent the outdoor advertising space.

Investments

Due to the impressive opportunities emanating from Israel, Curious Minds Israel was formed in 2013 and is led by two seasoned technologists, Nimrod Kimchi and Yohai Rayfeld. Whether it's building a company from scratch or investing in an existing one, CMI has expertise in identifying partnership opportunities, team building, investor introductions & foreign markets scaling.

Team

David Gonen

Co-Founder

David Gonen is a perpetual early adopter with expansive knowledge of technology trends. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Technion — Israel Institute of Technology Medical School, David co-founded Curious Minds and serves on the boards of TeleSign, PowToon, and ShowKit.

Jonathan Gonen

Co-Founder

Jonathan Gonen co-founded Curious Minds in 2004 with the aim of launching disruptive technology companies. He is a founding member of TeleSign and has held Board of Director seats for Ringadoc, 800LoanMart, IsItYou, and TeleSign. Jonathan received his bachelor's degree in political science & economics from Emory University.

Matt Van Veenendaal

Chief Technology Officer

Matt Van Veenendaal specializes in helping startups find their edge with technology teams. He is an expert at creating software and teams that can adapt to the challenges in software in the beginning stages and at scale. Well versed in today's latest frameworks and technologies for both mobile and web, Matt is currently a board member at ShowKit and Authorly and serves as an advisor to Ringadoc and Washio.

David Chaimowitz

Chief Financial Officer

David Chaimowitz works with startup entrepreneurs and the financial community to ensure there is a clear path for both to succeed with Curious Minds. He has been involved in multiple successful sales transactions, including the recent sale of 800LoanMart to Fortress Investment Group. He attended the UPenn Wharton School of Business and earned a CPA while with Deloitte.

Brad Seraphin

Chief Marketing Officer

Brad Seraphin is a technology startup veteran, advisor, and entrepreneur with a background in online marketing, project management, and product development. Brad has spent the past 10 years launching venture backed companies. His data-driven approach to directing CM's Lean Lab guides founders through market research, MVP development, and establishing traction with early adopters.

Yohai Rayfeld

General Partner, CMI

Yohai is a pioneer in scaling startups into international companies. He is the Founder of Unicell (largest VAS for mobile in Israel), Chairman of Pango (largest cellular parking system), and Founder & Chairman of Tweegee (leading children's portal in Russia, Turkey, Israel, Italy, and Argentina).

Nimrod Kimchi

General Partner, CMI

Nimrod has been involved in the Tel Aviv tech scene and a business partner of Yohai Rayfeld for more than ten years. As a Founder & President of Unicell, Director of Pango, and Founder & Director of Tweegee, Nimrod possesses an extensive networks of investment contacts on a global scale.

Contact Us

We believe that strong businesses are built on open communication. We welcome any questions or inquiries.

Curious Minds


8560 W. Sunset Boulevard

Penthouse (10th Floor)

West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 276-5900

Curious Minds Israel

1 B.S.R. Tower (13th Floor)
2 Ben Gurion St.
Ramat Gan, 5257334
Phone: +972-3-6440602

Questions & Comments

info@curiousminds.com
Text us: (310) 651-7870
Apply to Curious Minds via AngelList