South Park Commons helps you get from -1 to 0

SPC is a home for the most talented technologists, builders, and domain-experts figuring out what's next—a community designed to turn the chaos of possibility into the clarity of conviction.

south park commons helps you get from -1 to 0

Who should join SPC?

SPC was started by founders and founding engineers from companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Meraki, and Stripe. If you are a technologist or founder ready to figure out what you want to work on next, SPC can help you discover new ways of impacting the world. Whether you are exploring startup ideas, validating a new research pathway, or building conviction in your next endeavor, SPC is the best place to go from -1 to 0.




SPC Companies


Collectively Raised



A home for people looking for open-ended exploration, learning, idea testing, and relationship-building. If you're actively exploring what to do next, we'd love to meet you.


Founder Fellowship: A structured, guided path through the -1 to 0 phase for anyone committed to starting a venture-scale company but still navigating ideation. Up to $1M investment, 1:1 partner mentorship, small cohorts, and no set deadlines or demo days.


The SPC Fund also works with select entrepreneurs who are not part of the community. We partner with founders primarily in the pre-seed or seed stage, leveraging our operational expertise and the broader community to help you achieve your vision.

Member Stories

Waseem Daher & Jeff Arnold
Waseem & Jeff

Two founding members went on to start the first SPC unicorn.

Both engineers from MIT, Waseem and Jeff co-founded two companies together that were successfully acquired before they helped found SPC. They were instrumental in building the culture and ethos of the community. This dynamic duo left SPC to start Pilot, the first company founded out of SPC to reach a unicorn ($1B+) valuation.

Anurag Goel

How did Anurag Goel turn side-projects into a company?

A graduate of IIT in India and employee #8 at Stripe, Anurag joined SPC knowing only that he wanted to take on big problems. He built apps around healthcare, deep learning, and real-time communication, while helping other members with their projects. All this building and feedback revealed the opportunity for Render, a zero DevOps cloud platform Anurag founded out of SPC that has raised $26.75M and become one of the fastest growing tools in the developer ecosystem.

Trisha Kothari & Clarence Chio
Trisha & Clarence

From meeting at SPC to starting a $300M company together.

Trisha joined SPC after stints as an early engineer and product manager at Affirm. Clarence joined to explore new topics while writing an O'Reilly book on Machine Learning and Security. They met and discovered a shared interest in security and fintech, eventually graduating to combine their skills and start Unit21, now one of the fastest growing fintech security startups with $47M in funding.

Tom Brown

He joined to start a consumer company. He left to do AI research.

A software engineer and serial entrepreneur, including co-founder of Grouper, Tom joined SPC to explore ideas for a new consumer startup. While in the community, Tom ended up diving into a peer learning group exploring machine learning topics. He graduated to join Google Brain and later OpenAI, leading the engineering team for GPT-3. He has since founded his own AI safety and research company, Anthropic.

Alvaro Morales & Kshitij Grover
Alvaro & Kshitij

They built conviction they can change a $2 trillion industry.

After years of collaboration at Asana, these engineers decided to make the jump and found a company together. They joined the Founder Fellowship to navigate the hardest part of the early company-building process: building conviction in an idea you plan to spend years of your life on. Alvaro and Kshitij succeeded and founded Orb, a company changing how the building blocks of the internet run the can’t-fail billing process.

Kathy Qian

From the World Bank & ACLU to protecting democracy.

A Penn grad who did computational social science for the World Bank and ACLU while running a successful algorithmic trading side-gig, Kathy came to SPC to develop Code for Democracy. What started as a side project became a non-profit that provides tooling for journalists, researchers, and open-government advocates to automate political watchdogging.

Ashton Eaten

A 2x Olympic gold medalist joined to figure out what to conquer next.

Ashton won gold medals as a decathlete for the US in back-to-back Olympics. After retiring from the sport, he joined SPC to figure out what he wanted to put his talents toward next. He explored systems design and became passionate about engineering, graduating to join Intel as a product engineer.

Bilal Mahmood

A founder and policy wonk takes first principles to politics.

After serving as a policy staffer in the Obama Administration and later successfully exiting a startup he founded, Bilal joined us to explore how he could put his experiences to use for his community. He decided to bring a data-driven, first principles mindset to politics, becoming the first SPC member to run for office.

Jaclyn Rice Nelson & Noah Gale
Jaclyn & Noah

How community produces more communities.

When Jaclyn, an experienced operator and investor, and Noah, the founding sales hire at Gigster, met at SPC, they decided to start a company together. The pair were inspired by the world-class AI/ML talent in the community, along with the flexibility and camaraderie of the SPC model. This led to Tribe AI, a collective that connects independent AI experts with companies in search of AI talent.

Andrew Wynn & Praveen Chekuri
Andrew & Praveen

These second-time founders knew: go slow to go fast.

Second-time co-founders Andrew and Praveen knew how hard the idea phase is after their previous company was acquired. Planning to start a new company but unsure what problem to tackle, they joined the first Founder Fellowship cohort to be deliberate in their process. The result was Ascend, the first modern insurance payments platform that has raised $39M.

Gavin Nachbar & Michael Bock
Gavin & Michael

Taking on a monopoly by making tax-prep less awful.

When they left Waymo to start a company together, Gavin and Michael had a core guiding principle: find a problem where consumers were being utterly failed and fix it. After joining the Founder Fellowship, they followed this principle right to tax prep. Column Tax was their solution.



SPC to open India outpost with Binny Bansal

SPC is opening a community space in Bangalore in collaboration with Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal.

What is -1 to 0? A philosophy of ideation.

Defining a crucial stage of company-building—and why you should take it seriously.

How to go from -1 to 0

The worldbuilder approach to generating and validating venture-scale startup ideas.

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