Early-stage venture firm Network Society Ventures has snagged TechShop’s former CEO and co-founder Mark Hatch as general partner.
Hatch is recognized as a pioneer of the maker movement, is a current entrepreneur in residence at UC Berkeley, and is a former Green Beret.
For those who don’t know it, TechShop bills itself as “a membership-based DIY workshop.”
The company charges its members a monthly fee to access work space and a bevy of hard-to-get, large or expensive manufacturing machines that are a designer’s dream, from the latest and greatest laser cutters, to CNC mills and 3D printers.
During his tenure at TechShop, Hatch says he grew the company from one to eight U.S. locations with many others in development, and increased its memberships and revenue by a multiple of twenty in just five years.
Hatch also helped TechShop raise over $20 million in venture funding, including $3.4 million from investors online at a time when so-called equity crowdfunding was only newly permitted by U.S. regulators.
Hatch resigned from TechShop in July this year as TechCrunch reported then.
We have reached out for additional details about what Hatch’s immediate plans are for the firm.
Generally, the fund has identified certain areas where it seeks to place a lot of small bets, making investments of $100,000 to $500,000 in very early stage companies around the world.
The industries or technologies it has expressed interest in are energy, manufacturing, food, health, finance, security, policymaking and learning or non-traditional education tech.
Through that relationship, the firm’s portfolio includes some companies working on some futuristic and fun technologies.
Examples include: Swift Tram, makers of an electric, elevated transit system that aims to leave as much of the natural view possible while moving people; Eatlimmo, which is making nutritional additives from fruit waste that could help build a healthier Twinkie; and Fellow Robots, whose robots aim to help keep shelves stocked, and customers happy at retail stores.