Nick Moran is the founder and General Partner at New Stack Ventures.  Prior to New Stack, Nick spent time as both an investor and an operator.  He worked in M&A for Danaher, a science and technology conglomerate.  And subsequently, Nick developed one of the most successful products in the company’s history, a novel way of testing compounds in drinking water.
New Stack Ventures is an early-stage venture firm investing in remarkable founders, creating markets at the intersection of Hardware and Software.  New Stack invests out of a fund and also leads the largest AngelList syndicate in the midwest; a group of over 140 angels that co-invest in New Stack deals.


Origin of The Full Ratchet

I’m Nick Moran and I created The Full Ratchet in early 2014. I started angel investing in 2013 and found the startup fundraising/investing process to be confusing at best. The industry was a black-box with land mines everywhere. Yet, I observed that venture drives significant value across both public and private markets. And the most inspiring, smart people that I had interacted with were startup entrepreneurs.

So, after a year of coffee chats with VCs and Angels, it became clear that I could learn the most through direct conversation with the experts. And why not record the conversations to help others in a similar situation?  A few months later The Full Ratchet was created; where I interview the investor experts on everything from “What is an Angel?” to “What ratios and monthly recurring revenue levels are expected for a Series A SaaS investment?” Thanks for visiting and shoot me a note if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions! nick at fullratchet dot net.


Nick’s Bio

Nick Moran The Full RatchetNick is a co-founder and Managing Director of New Stack Ventures and Moran Capital Partners. He has held positions in Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategy, Product Management and Product Development.  Nick has experience across a range of verticals, including Industrial Automation, Robotics, Aerospace and Defense, Renewable Energy and Water Analytics.

He holds an MBA degree from the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business Administration, and a Bachelors of Science in Operations Management and Business Process Management from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business.

His path to venture began while working in M&A. He spent time employing a private equity-centric approach toward large-asset acquisition. This function, with aggressive bottom-line tactics, was not the ideal fit. Rather, Nick enjoyed the “Open Innovation” side of M&A, where early-stage technologies were cultivated and growth was the focus.

This led Nick to take a new role leading breakthrough product management.  He obtained funding and an R&D team of 15+ to re-invent the water analytics testing process.  Over the next three years, a new product was developed from ideation through launch.  This hardware device + consumable + software solution (razor/razorblade+SaaS) automates the measurement of compounds in water.  It went on to become one of the most successful products in the company’s history.

Since this experience, Nick has focused on investing in entrepreneurs tackling similar problems.

Our Investment Thesis

At New Stack, we invest in remarkable founders, creating markets at the intersection of Hardware and Software.

These businesses are often categorized as  Smart Hardware, IoT, or Connected Devices.
STAGE: Pre-Seed & Seed
BUSINESS MODEL: Businesses with a recurring revenue stream
THEMES we look for in startups:
  • TRACTABLE: Tools that give non-experts, expert capabilities
  • DEMOCRATIZATION: Platforms that enable users to build & drive value
  • ACCESS TO IDLE SUPPLY: Providing access to existing, inaccessible supply
  • CUSTOMER EXPANSION: Increased usage can be increasingly monetized
  • NETWORK EFFECTS: Product value & exit barriers increase as users increase

If you are a startup founder, looking for funding, click here.

To get a better sense for Nick’s thesis and investment philosophy, watch Nick’s appearance on Bootstrapping in America here:


More from Nick:

New Stack Ventures

Moran Capital Partners

Venture Weekly



Listener Feedback

Pete Maglio

The takeaways to end this episode are fantastic! Thanks @TheFullRatchet & @BenEinstein! pca.st/Fey4 #smartHardware #startups