Sandhill Studio: Michael Berolzheimer and Bee Partners

Investing in Bear Naked Granola. The transition from PE to VC. Investing early (really early). Playing the long game.


This interview is brought to you in partnership with our friends at Revere. Revere provides venture capital data and portfolio management solutions to asset allocators. Built by allocators, for allocators — our tools let you effortlessly manage your portfolio. Check them out here!


  • 00:00 Introduction and Background

  • 01:04 Early Ventures and Angel Investing

  • 03:09 Formation of Bee Partners

  • 04:26 Fund Construction and Size

  • 06:26 Sourcing Strategy

  • 12:58 Team Construction and Support

  • 21:57 Trend towards deep tech

  • 23:11 Comfort with binary bets

  • 24:18 Long-term sourcing approach

  • 27:01 Deep tech focus

  • 29:20 Patience and risk in deep tech

  • 30:06 Longer timelines in deep tech

  • 32:32 Competition in the VC market

  • 35:52 Evolution and growth

  • 38:09 Future of VC


  • Start with a strong network and leverage personal connections for early investments.

  • Stay disciplined in fund size and focus on the inception stage of venture capital.

  • Sourcing deal flow requires building networks, attending events, and conducting research.

  • Invest in deep tech startups with a focus on B2B Enterprise and intellectual property. Deep tech investments are becoming more popular, with a focus on finding startups with a unique edge.

  • VCs are becoming more comfortable with binary bets, where startups have the potential to be massive successes or complete failures.

  • A long-term sourcing approach is necessary in the early stages of venture creation, as founders may not even know they are founders yet.

  • Deep tech investments require patience and involve additional risk due to the validation of technology and market potential.

  • The VC market has become more competitive, with emerging managers and multi-stage VCs entering the seed stage.

  • VCs need to constantly evolve and improve their services to stay competitive and provide value to their portfolio companies.

  • The future of VC may involve more specialization and expertise in specific domains, as companies stay private longer and require deeper support.

  • Family offices may play a larger role in the VC market, but validating expertise remains a challenge.


In this conversation, Michael shares his journey from private equity to angel investing and eventually founding Bee Partners, a venture capital firm. He discusses the early days of investing in startups and the lessons he learned from his first angel investment. Michael also explains the importance of staying disciplined in fund size and focusing on the inception stage of venture capital. He shares his perspective on sourcing deal flow and the value of building networks and relationships. Additionally, Michael highlights the team construction at Bee Partners and their focus on deep tech investments. The conversation explores the trend towards deep tech investments and the comfort with binary bets. It also discusses the long-term sourcing approach and the patience and risk involved in deep tech. The conversation touches on the longer timelines in deep tech and the competition in the VC market. It concludes with a discussion on the evolution and growth of the VC industry and the future of VC.

Full Guest Bio:

As Managing Partner of Bee Partners, Michael Berolzheimer has amassed over a decade of experience at the earliest stages of deep-tech venture creation. Michael has partnered with Founders on 75+ pre-seed investments via funds totaling over $150MM and has held over a dozen board roles supporting Founders going from zero-to-one.  Bee Partners proactively tracks and develops insights using his Frontier Curve of Innovation framework, pioneering both the sourcing of frontier technologies and the application of technologies to emerging markets.

A proud alum of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Michael graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with dual undergraduate degrees in computer science and economics.  He currently serves on the boards of Embroker, Voltaiq, Deepscribe, Sourcetable, Cyber Pop-up and another still in stealth.

Fund Description:

Bee Partners leads pre-seed deep tech VC investing by partnering with Founders who have the smarts, grit, and humanity to create the machines of tomorrow in AI/ML, Robotics, Automation, Synthetic Biology, and more. The firm leverages a singular approach in detecting new and emerging patterns of business as well as inside access to fertile but often overlooked entrepreneurial ecosystems to identify early opportunity in large, untapped markets. This approach has led the pre-seed portfolio to a 60%+ matriculation rate to Series A. Bee’s portfolio companies consistently realize growth at levels that outstrip industry averages and have secured over $1.5B in follow-on capital from the world's top VCs.

We host live events regularly!

Check out the full calendar here and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss anything.

You can also follow us on Twitter here and LinkedIn here to see the key takeaway clips we share.