About Us

We flip the traditional venture firm model.

TEF’s entrepreneurs, not the Managing Directors, sit at the top of the investment pyramid.  The entrepreneurs are our prized resource. Our LPs are next in the stack, and the TEF Team provides the final foundation layer.  We challenge you to find another venture firm that makes that claim.

We are consultative service providers.

Our backgrounds as strategy consultants to some of Silicon Valley’s most successful business-to-business software companies, along with our extensive operating experience, make us keenly aware that, as seed investors, our primary role is to leverage our know-how, operating skills and contacts to benefit our entrepreneurial teams.

We keep it simple.                               

Complexity causes friction and wastes time and money. We strive for simplicity  in our communications, term sheets, and funding documents.  We also keep our investment thesis simple—we are laser-focused on seed-stage financing in our one market; Cognitive Computing software for the enterprise.


We start small but think big.

TEF almost always leads the first two financings so that our CEOs can remain focused on the most critical stages of building their businesses. When appropriate, TEF’s consulting affiliate and Venture Partners assist our founding management teams in navigating through the “get big” phase.

We have a proven business model.                             

TEF has successfully used its investment and operating approach since 1989. All prior TEF Funds have consistently outperformed industry norms, in good times and bad, by as much as 400%. We take pride in delivering this level of performance to our Limited Partners and entrepreneurial management teams.

Our ecosystem is best in class.                            

Over the last twenty-plus years, TEF has built a robust, powerful, talented, and engaged ecosystem. TEF’s ecosystem is a truly unique asset that yields connections for recruiting, generating sales leads, meeting potential partners and more.