Innovis VC — the fast growing student initiative that empowers the next generation in VC across Europe
After starting as “Munich Student Venture Club” about a year ago, we can now proudly look back at an exciting and challenging time.
We managed to establish ourselves in the Munich ecosystem, to rebrand successfully and to set up four new hubs in the European Startup-locations London, Paris, Milan and St. Gallen. At the same time, we now focus on our next steps as “Innovis VC”.
How it started
In March 2020, companies were trying to cope with the pandemic, students started their first online semester and everything in public was shut down from one day to the next. We as a group of highly motivated students from Munich, united by the passion for startups and VC, decided to found a student club in the Venture Capital sector.
Initially, we wanted to setup the largest platform for VC-education in Munich’s ecosystem and create a club for VC enthusiasts to network with like-minded people, exchange on recent deals in the sector and to come together for speaker-events.
However, on our journey we noticed that even more was possible and thus adjusted and widened our Value Proposition in multiple directions — but more on that in the following paragraphs.
The beginning — set up of our initial structure
Completing all legal requirements for a non-profit association, we gave our “Lockdown-project” more shape and subsequently profited from being accredited at universities and receiving decent conditions on software tools for our digital collaborative work.
Fun-fact: This also meant, that many of our club-members saw each other for the first time in person after around six months of online meetings.
Simultaneously, we began to restructure ourselves internally to increase efficiency whilst staying agile and keeping up with our fast member-growth — we therefore set up our different Departments, split the responsibilities and focused on improving our teamwork through a sophisticated IT setup and shorter feedback-cycles.
Priority back then in September 2020 had the launch and recruiting for our “Analyst Program” — an intense two-months VC crash-course, followed by a continuous hands-on experience called the “Academy Fund”, where we aim to provide our members with VC Analyst experience, including a weekly deal meeting, Due Diligences, and more. Overall, the program prepares our members ideally for an Analyst-position in a fund later on.
Batch #1 of Junior Analyst, the “Network” & Onboarding of first partners
After conducting some targeted recruitings (e.g. Legal, IT), we finally opened our application window in autumn and were pleasantly surprised by the number of applicants. With all checks and interviews done, we welcomed four new high-performers as our first batch of juniors. Besides this, we introduced the “Network” as second type of membership — to give interested students access to events and contact to likeminded people, however without attending our “Analyst Program” and participating in our internal activities.
To bring value to all of our new members, we simultaneously arranged first partnerships with for example Ventech, the UnternehmerTUM or Lupp+Partner as our first supporters and started with interesting and well-visited speaker-events.
Our service: From Lead-Sharing to Due Diligences
With our Analysts knowing the basics of Sourcing and evaluating startups, we internally kicked-off our “Academy Fund” as we called it, which meant that all our members were sourcing over the course of a week and just like in a “Pitch-to-the-Partners Meeting” in a regular VC fund, we would discuss the lead, evaluate the Pros/Cons and decide.
The output were promising leads — that we soon began to regularly share with our partners — like Seed+Speed or Alstin Capital. As the feedback was great on this initial POC we continued, extended our offering and we were leveraging even more our position in the ecosystem through our unique access to leads from university spin-offs, research projects and the own entrepreneurial network of our members.
Thus, we just recently switched from sharing structured PowerPoint-Sheets to our in-house developed Lead-Sharing Platform. This is, where our partners can access the latest leads and appreciate the promising startups — sourced by students with deep insights and who discover previously unknown leads for the VC fund.
Besides the Lead-Sharing, we also started activities in the market research and Due Diligence segment as we regularly supported our partners with Investment-Memos on startups they want to vote for in the Investment Commitee. Therefore, our Analysts did deep dive research on aspects like the startup itself, the market, financials or the technology and condensed all the information in a Memo and SWOT analysis on the company.
The rising need for a rebranding
Already over the course of the semester, we encountered more and more interest from students outside Munich that had an interest in what we already did at that time — on the other hand, the Venture Capital industry is generally very flexible concerning locations and top tier VCs often invest in companies all around Europe.
We gradually noticed that we wouldn’t be able to grow and reach our goals as “Munich Student Venture Club” — we simply needed a more brandable name that would suit a European student organization with high aspirations in the VC space.
“Innovis VC” was then the name of choice — and with which we aim to become a brand in European VC for a student organization with hubs and professional teams around Europe’s startup destinations.
Our current next steps — Innovis VC on fire
Finalizing our Teams and the Hub-Integration into our organization determine our current daily business. Over the next year, we plan on massively growing the number of members, especially in our hubs, but also in our Munich team.
Through new additional partnerships that match the membership growth, we aim to establish ourselves as a relevant player in the European VC ecosystem. With our in-house Lead-Sharing Platform we furthermore thrive to create a place, where VCs interact on deals, get promising Leads as the investment focus demands and can ask for support and a third-party assessment on a deal.
Besides this, we will step even further into the startup segment with proprietary and free of charge services where we already today offer support to startups with Feedback on their Pitchdeck, Pitch-presentation and give them tips for the interaction with investors. For all who are interested — we can only refer to the Startup-Subpage on our Website.
The long-term vision & a message to share
In the next years, we want to become Europe’s №1 student VC organization having hubs in all relevant entrepreneurship hubs. We want to be a known and established player right at the intersection of startups, students and VCs.
Through us, many students will have found their excitement for VC and entrepreneurship and will follow their passion with their careers — our Analyst Program will in many cases have had an important impact on their journey.
The Innovis VC success story so far would not have been possible without the amazing team behind it — a motivated team and an attitude of getting things done paired with the right amount of optimism and ambition are of immense value.
Cheers to the team — We keep going!