Boulton & Watt

Est. 1775

The Watt steam engine design

What we do

Boulton & Watt is perhaps the world's slowest startup incubator. We build one company at a time with focused execution and high success rates.

We don't start 10 companies per year. We don't fund entrepreneurs-in-residence with a deck and a check. We think product-market fit is a hard problem and we don't think it can be industrialized or handed off - but it is possible to solve repeatedly. We get in the guts and build the thing from day zero. Most of the work of a scientist isn't generating hypotheses, it's running experiments to get the data. That's what we do.

Once we've created real traction, we partner with best-in-class operators to create a second founding moment to scale the company. That's because the skills at each stage of a startup are different, even if vesting schedules pretend they're the same.

We aim for unreasonable speed with each portfolio company while making decisions at Boulton & Watt like we're going to be in business for decades. We go long: building networks of talented people we someday hope to work with, waiting patiently for businesses to compound, and preferring to make the pie bigger for everyone instead of owning all of a small pie of our own.

Who we are

We're backed by leading investors, founders of public and large private companies, and executives across the gamut of startups and public companies.

Our companies

We're focused on vertical SaaS and infrastructure where we can unlock economic opportunities for others. Our categories might look niche, but they're not. You've just overlooked them.

Our namesake

We're named after the company formed in 1776 by Matthew Boulton and James Watt to commercialize the steam engine. It was the partnership between technology and business that catalyzed the Industrial Revolution.

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