Ex-Nest CEO Tony Fadell launches new project for young start-ups

19 Oct 2017

Inventor Tony Fadell. Image: JD Lasica/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Tony Fadell’s new project comes 15 months after his departure from Nest Labs.

Known as one of the fathers of the iPod, Tony Fadell was the senior vice-president of the iPod division at Apple from 2006 to 2008, and went on to found Nest Labs in 2010.

Google snapped up Nest in 2014 for more than $3bn and, following a short stint looking after the Google Glass project, Fadell has now established a new company: Future Shape.

According to TechCrunch, Future Shape is an investment and advisory firm that will be collaborating with scientists and engineers.

Other members of Future Shape include David Sloo, Vicky Lu and Anton Oenning, all formerly part of the Nest team.

Fadell to help grow young start-ups

Fadell is no stranger to start-up funding, having already backed more than 100 companies in the last number of years.

He made a statement discussing his reasons for kicking things off at Future Shape, saying that he wanted to apply the lessons learned in the last 25 years to help other businesses grow. “For the past 10 years, I’ve been sharing what I’ve learned with founders. Investing both money and my time.

“A lot of the founders of these companies have done quite well. But I’ve always wanted to do more, support them more, just like my mentors who helped me.

“That’s why I created Future Shape. Now, I’m pulling the best and brightest from my past to help founders realise the full potential of their ideas. When you can’t get past an obstacle, ask us. We’ve seen a lot before, and we can help you anticipate the things around that blind corner.”

Looking for big ideas

The company will act as a seed-stage sounding board for founders to discuss product, technology and building a business.

According to Axios, Future Shape is interested in start-ups in areas such as agriculture, transportation, robotics and consumer products. Fadell said it is looking for “unorthodox teams, rule-breakers and big ideas on multiple continents”.

The company said it’s not a venture capital firm, as there are no LPs to report to and it doesn’t shut funds down after five years – its approach is described as “long-haul”.

Future Shape also wants to find great ideas outside of Silicon Valley, with its portfolio mainly in the EU and US, and also some companies in the Middle East and Asia.

Inventor Tony Fadell. Image: JD Lasica/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects