Hillside Ventures — UCONN’s Student Run Venture Fund
A group of students at the University of Connecticut has organized and is investing in student startups.
History of Organization
Recently, a group of students at the University of Connecticut under the mentorship of Professor David Noble, the director of the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management, teamed up to found the school’s first student-run venture fund. The idea started as an independent study with a couple of students trying to raise capital, while also navigating the intricacies of a venture fund. Now, the fund consists of a full class of 17 students analyzing companies, ready to invest in the next great generation of entrepreneurs.
Hillside Ventures was founded to address a gap in the training for UConn students: early-stage, private companies. It is an opportunity for students to invest real money in real startups while receiving mentorship and guidance from a panel of expert alumni. On the surface, it may seem like this opportunity is aimed at just business students. But that is contrary to Hillside’s core belief of including students from across campus. This group is open to any gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and major. Anyone interested in learning about the venture capital industry is encouraged to apply to the fund and attend VC and private equity society events, which is a student organization to assist those interested in the private markets. Unfortunately, the VC industry has excluded people on the basis of race and gender, and Hillside wants to lead the next generation of inclusive investing.
Hillside Ventures has begun accepting donations for its initial $1m fund. The fund’s investment focus targets UConn-affiliated entrepreneurs as well as non-UConn-affiliated entrepreneurs in three macro-areas of insurtech, sustainability, and edtech. The fund plans to begin investing in startups this semester.
How To Get Involved
If you are interested in offering guidance, participating in the fund, receiving investment, or just connecting to learn more, connect with the Hillside Ventures team.
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