Scope:

  • Brand Identity (Visual + Voice)
  • Copywriting
  • Discovery
  • Graphic Design
  • Logo Design
  • Motion Graphics & Animations
  • Web Design + Development

Published:

Fall 2020

A VC for Inevitable Founders

You don’t have to run your own VC fund to know that the venture industry has more than its fair share of bold statements and plenty of aspiration about shaping the future. The sea of sameness in the venture world is paralyzing, stodgy and lacking sincerity. In stark contrast to the boastful claims of other VCs, Upside Partnership realizes they can’t take all the credit. They aren’t building the future. They aren’t making the world better. They aren’t wearing all the hats. Founders are. And they do it better than venture firms. 

Upside Partnership, based in San Francisco, saw an opportunity to build something better amidst an industry that needs a refreshing reminder of what partnerships are truly built on— early small bets, expertise, and execution with the right founders and ideas. Kent Goldman, former First Round partner, and Christina Hunt of the same pedigree, wanted to work with Butchershop because both companies are built in the same vein, strategically and historically positioned to help tell better stories for brands in noisy spaces.

As an early stage venture capital investment firm, Upside Partnership has had tremendous success attributed to the personalization of the process paired with the philosophy that investing early means investing in people. In order to articulate this philosophy in messaging, Butchershop had to figure out what the VC/Founder relationship truly means and express that the search for founders isn’t just about following market trends, but looking for those who are inevitable leaders. The ones who can’t help BUT create their companies. Upside’s role is to mentor them along their journey with expertise, thoughtfulness, and empathy. 

Upside Partnership, usually the first in, works with some of the best funds in the world. Their emphasis on people underscores the bigger picture so that they can help founders build something great. The work had to answer the big question that all brands must: How? For Butchershop, it was a matter of moving away from a recipe and highlighting what founders really need: perspective. Upside Partnership has a perspective, not a traditional playbook that becomes obsolete as soon as new inputs come into play.

All of this positioning, messaging, and feeling had to be brought to life in a new website experience that stood out. It needed to express their differences, while holding credibility. The new website also needed to embody Kent and Christina, the value they create, and the perspectives they share. 

Part of the objective for the website was to have a compelling platform to share and distribute content. A lot of the information on the site is pulled from various sources that Kent and Christina live their lives on: Twitter, Medium, TechCrunch, founders’ websites, and news articles from portfolio companies. Butchershop created a way for Upside to link out to all sorts of platforms and posts of content in the world. Their original site was hard to manage, update and customize. Butchershop moved them away from Squarespace and chose WordPress with a customized CMS so they could easily update thought leadership, news, and portfolio on a consistent basis. 

When it came to the visual and verbal identity updates, Butchershop scrapped the majority of the previous elements and looked for the clear space among their peers and other early stage venture funds. The new visual system is built around the genesis moment of a company — the complexities of an early stage concept that, with the right support, guidance, and expertise, crystalize into something truly brilliant. The idea of guidance was important throughout, with grids pulling from the language of maps and type inspiration drawn from Atlases, reflecting Upside’s unique approach to the venture industry. Visual queues bring you to the next bit of content with purpose. And of course, Butchershop broke some rules and flipped the type vertical to denote page identification. Grid and UI elements remained rather functional so content sections could use the same navigation. This kept the site from exploding with unnecessary modules and templates. Simple is hard. 

The result was a validation tool for Upside Partnership. The website builds their presence across other platforms while acting as a solid home base. It puts a clear APB out there: If you’re an exceptional founder, looking for smart people to help you build something incredible that actually improves lives, Upside should be your first call.