University Funds Investing in Student Start-Ups

Tracey Lien reported yesterday at the Los Angeles Times Online that, “Meet the 24-year-old venture capitalist using UC Berkeley as his own incubator.

“Universities have in recent years awakened to the fact that students can help them make money through more than just tuition and board.

Stanford University started investing in students’ start-ups in 2013. Harvard University does the same through its Xfund. Last year, the University of California launched a $250-million venture fund to invest in companies that grow out of the UC system.”

The article indicated that, “Now, UC Berkeley entrepreneurs could benefit from a new fund — one led by 24-year-old Los Angeles native Jeremy Fiance.

“The Cal alumnus, who graduated in 2014, recently raised $6 million for his venture, the House Fund. Its goal is to provide pre-seed and seed funding to start-ups emerging from UC Berkeley, including student, faculty and alumni projects.”

The LA Times article explained that, “Fiance is the House Fund’s sole general partner and sees himself as a bridge between the school and the venture capital world. Most investors are deep in Silicon Valley, removed from what’s happening at Cal by geography and culture.

“The UC system’s fund, led by entrepreneur Vivek Ranadivé, looks across the entire network of schools for investment opportunities — leaving room for a Cal-focused program, Fiance said.”

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