Seed-Stage Technology Investor

The Slater Technology Fund is an evergreen not-for-profit seed fund dedicated to supporting new venture development in Rhode Island. We invest in early-stage technology ventures founded by entrepreneurs who have the vision, courage and tenacity to build companies that aim to achieve transformational impact in the industries or markets they serve.

Investment Focus and Criteria

  • ▸ Seed- and early-stage capital
  • ▸ Software, energy, life sciences
  • ▸ Transformative technologies aimed at the world’s biggest problems
  • ▸ Commitment to building and basing locally

Slater by the Numbers









*Follow-On Funding Raised by Portfolio

Hear from our managing director, Thorne Sparkman

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What We Do

We are experienced early-stage investors.

We lead- or co-invest in early-stage ventures founded by entrepreneurs who have the vision, courage and tenacity to build companies that aim to achieve transformational impact. We seek to hear from entrepreneurs who are passionate about changing the world, and look for opportunities that solve clear, unmet needs and have the potential to attract the people and resources that great ventures thrive upon.

We partner with entrepreneurs to help them succeed.

We are the entrepreneur’s first and foremost ally, helping to create the early momentum to ensure their ventures succeed. We are often the first money in, delivering the capital, experience, perspective, and support entrepreneurs need to turn their ideas into reality. We constantly seek others with that orientation to form a network we can share, to make customer, partner and investor introductions, recruit new team members, identify additional funding opportunities, and share best practices.

We continually provide opportunities to create meaningful connections.

Community is a core part of Slater’s value proposition and our events are a significant part of that. We hold informal networking events, formal presentations, and panel discussions to bring value to our portfolio companies – both current and future – by connecting them with each other and with potential partners, investors, customers and employees.

Our Team

As managing director of the Slater Technology Fund, Thorne focuses on the earliest stage of company creation, often working with university-based teams commercializing research. He serves as board member for Voltserver, Datarista, Advanced Image Enhancement, and Tizra Software, and as a board observer at Squadlocker, Drive Time Metrics, eNow, Aquanis, Location, Inc., and RxVantage. He was previously involved with VCharge (acquired by Ovo Energy, Ltd) Mofuse (acquired by The Search Agency), Andera (acquired by Bottomline Technologies, NSDQ: epay), MTI Film and MTI Machine vision (acquired by DVT Corporation, NSDQ: CGNX), GeneSpectrum (acquired by NABsys), Swyx, Tazz Networks, and ModEnergy (acquired by Enersys NSDQ: ENS) among others.


Thorne is a member of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Advisory Board and the Investor Steering Committee at the New England Clean Energy Council (NECEC). He enjoys working with young entrepreneurs as a guest lecturer at Brown University and URI, a judge at business plan competitions such as MassChallenge, and a mentor at B-Lab, a program in entrepreneurial innovation at Brown University. He is a frequent panelist at national and local conferences, and his articles on entrepreneurship have appeared in publications including The Providence JournalMass High Tech, and American Venture. Thorne holds a B.A. from Harvard and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Board of Directors

Our Portfolio