The Founder Friendly

Startup Accelerator & Investor

Investing in scalable, scrappy, early revenue seeking, customer-centric, sustainable startups, that are lead by founders like you.

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Different, Disruptive and Daring.

SiliconXL is the first accelerator of its kind. We champion terms that are founder-friendly and are better than SAFE. You should also know that Providence and Rhode Island is THE Startup Runway Capital of America and is one of the very best place to run or launch a startup. We are also of the strong opinion that modern Angle and VC funding is broken. Founders and startups should raise less money before or while scaling. You will own more of our company, and will make a larger exit at $500 million than you would taking a ton of VC early and exiting at $2 billion. Too many founders have been convinced that investment is the holy grail, it's not. Bootstrapping with customers or taking as little investment as possible is. We invite you to open a second startup office here in Providence, RI (The Startup Runway Capital of America) or move your entire startup here and receive:

  • Up to $100,000/year for up to 5 years
  • Up to $50,000/year in software engineering (Venture Code Capital)
  • Up to $50,000/year in cloud credits
  • A 12 month accelerator program vs the typical 3 months
  • Free office space for up to 5 years
  • Paid rent for up to 5 years. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • Optional pipeline of software engineering and tech talent
  • Founder-friendly investment terms
  • Crowd-sourced customer discovery/startup feedback portal
  • World's first tokenized/democratized investment platform
  • Providence, RI + your home city/town
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Contrarian Thinkers

What important truth do very few people agree with you on? Arnell believes that VC and Angel Investment is broken, and that increasingly, founders are paying the price. SiliconXL solves this problem. Arnell has also coined and pioneered the term "Venture Code Capital". It's a new way of thinking about code and he believes that the investment of intellectually important code is just as important as the cash that we invest in startups. (Cliff says he's a genius!) Our CTO, Cliff has mastered 15+ languages, coding the majority of our AI, blockchain/web3 and numerous cutting-edge, full-stack enterprise SAAS applications and IOS/Android apps... single-handedly. (Arnell says that Cliff a beast and a freak of nature!) We also can't wait to roll out our democratized tokenized investment platform. It's going to be a game changer! Together we are a team that is united in helping you succeed and scale by launching startups that people love.

Together, Arnell, Cliff and the SiliconXL team are blazing new paths forward!


Disrupt or Bust

Once you discover the fact that everything around you was created by people no smarter than you - once you realize that, you can create things that will help people, solve big problems and change the world.

Grizzly Bears > Unicorns. Mythological creatures with mythological valuations are not cute. Also, they are not real. We want startups that are grizzly bears. On the hunt for customer validation. Competitive, defensible, revenue driven with a powerful nose for innovation and ears honed in on customer needs. Also, grizzly bears are real. #WakeUpNeo


Sustainable Bootstrapped Scaling

When startups bootstrap and grow sustainably, delay outside funding, they retain a greater share & control of their startup. There is also plenty of evidence of startups that have scaled to $100 million ARR without taking a single dime of external funding. You also won't hear of these startups going out of business.

Quick Question. As an entrepreneur which do you seek first when launching a startup? A] Investors B] Free-mium Customers or C] Paying Customers. Revenue bootstrapping high-growth startups offer entrepreneurs distinct advantages, particularly in the realms of ownership, control, and an expotential financial return during an exit. When entrepreneurs bootstrap, they retain full ownership of their business. This complete control allows for decision-making that aligns closely with the founder's vision and business strategy, free from external pressures often exerted by investors. This autonomy often leads to a business more reflective of the founder's values and goals. Additionally, bootstrapping forces entrepreneurs to focus on revenue generation and profitability from the early stages.

This necessity fosters a culture of efficiency and lean operations, ensuring that the business model is inherently sustainable. This approach results in a solid, customer-focused company that stands on its own merits, rather than relying on continual infusions of external capital for growth. Most significantly, retaining full ownership means that in the event of a sale or exit, entrepreneurs stand to gain a much greater financial return. Without the need to distribute profits among numerous investors, the financial rewards of their hard work and success accrue directly to them. This potential for higher personal gain not only provides a strong incentive to succeed but also offers a tangible reward for the risks and challenges inherent in starting and scaling a business. Oh, the answer should always be, C, B and then A.

Bootstrap Case Studies


  • - Bootstrapped w/ $10K
  • - Year 1 Rev: $2M
  • - Year 4 Rev: $161M
  • - Launched in 2012
  • - Founders: P. Rahal
  • - Founders: J. Smith


  • - Used founder money
  • - Year 3 Rev: $600K
  • - Year 4 Rev: $3M
  • - Launched in 2008
  • - Founders: Brad Damphousse
  • - Founders: Andrew Ballester

MidJourney AI

  • - Self Funded
  • - Founded: July 12, 2022
  • - Profitable very early
  • - 14.8 million users
  • - Founder: David Holz
  • - Former founder of Leap Motion


  • - Initial model was dying
  • - Almost gave up
  • - Saw traction in email
  • - Said no to every investor
  • - Founders: Ben Chestnut
  • - Founders: Dan Kurzius


Only 1% of founders will ever raise investment capital. Yet, customers are always willing to pay for a solution that is exponentially better than what the market currently offers! Pursue paying customers FIRST, not LARGE SEED investments. You will own more of our company, and will make a larger exit at $500 million than you would taking a ton of VC early and exiting at $2 billion. Too many founders have been convinced that investment is the holy grail, it's not. Bootstrapping with customers or taking as little investment as possible is. We are interested in investing in scalable, scrappy, early revenue seeking, customer-centric, sustainable startups, that are led by founders like you.

SiliconXL Events

Upcoming Schedule

NEWS / ARTICLE - By: Arnell Milhouse

The Trouble with Unicorns

Over 3000 venture-backed startups died last year. This mass extinction event is even killing off so called unicorns [Startups with a value over $1 Billion]. The 16 year party of irrational exuberance and bad fiscal policy which gave birth to the mythological unicorns is now over. In a blink of an eye, many founders find themselves wondering what happend. In this article, I conduct a post-mortem and will dive deeply into one of the most stealthiest and devasting things taking place within the global startup ecosystem today.

A noticeable and significant increase in the valuation caps of startups where witnessed over the past several years. Once upon a normal time, early valuation caps stood between $1M to $5M, then we began to observe figures soaring to $10M to $20M or more. Founders often proudly posted online about raising massive funding rounds which resulted in sky-high valuations. These posts were enthusiastically supported, liked and re-shared by friends and family, resulting in millions and millions of media impressions. There was only one problem, more often than not, sales and revenues did not align these valuations. The astronomical valuations were mythical, much like the term unicorn that was used to classify many high flying startups. Every entrepreneur dreamed of launching a unicorn.

Once the Federal Reserve ended their zero interest rate era after Covid, investors viciously turned on startups with inflated valuations. Many investors bailed on the high-valued investment startups which they created. Instead of funding these now desperate startups that lack sustainable revenue growth, they closed their checkbooks and waited. Waited like vultures for the startups to resort to raising capital in a ‘down-round’, by selling shares at a much lower valuation than in its previous funding round(s).

To be continued - Part II on 1/31/24