A new partnership between Red Cedar Ventures—the wholly owned venture investment subsidiary of the Michigan State University Foundation—and the Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance (CVCPEEF) delivers venture funding experiences direct to the classroom.
Launched in Spring 2019, students taking Entrepreneurial Finance (FI 444) will get a taste of the risks and rewards associated with venture capital investment. Moreover, startup companies within MSU’s entrepreneurial ecosystem will get a chance to receive funding up to $50k.
“Students taking Entrepreneurial Finance are now able to apply the principles learned in the classroom,” said Zsuzsanna Fluck, associate professor of finance and director of the Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance. “Working with MSU startups, students will conduct assessments and due diligence into emerging startups here on campus. This is experiential learning at its finest.”
Students in FI 444 are already hard at work conducting investment evaluations on over twenty startup dossiers, many of which are competing in this week’s Burgess New Venture Challenge. At an event on April 26th, the Student Venture Capital Fund will deliver its final investment evaluations and award venture funding to its top picks.
The Student Venture Capital Fund’s dollars come directly from Red Cedar Ventures, which will execute and hold student investment recommendations within the company’s portfolio.
“Since 2016, Red Cedar Ventures has been building a portfolio that champions some of the most promising technologies and startups coming out of Michigan State University,” said Jeff Wesley, executive director of Red Cedar Ventures. Wesley will serve entrepreneurial finance students as a key investment mentor. “This collaboration supports our students by providing a richer experiential learning opportunity, lending depth to their understanding of the venture capital landscape.”
The Student Venture Capital Fund will continue to see new investment opportunities generated by activity within the MSU Hatch (or the Hatch)—the startup incubator exclusive to MSU student entrepreneurs. Today, the MSU Hatch serves hundreds of student members in its three-stage, milestone-based program. With over sixty startup companies in the Hatch program’s final “Launch” stage alone, the Student Venture Capital Fund will have a growing pipeline of companies into which dollars can be deployed.
“At the CVCPEEF, we focus on four core values to help drive the industry forward: research, education, outreach and collaboration,” explains Fluck. “The Student Venture Capital Fund is vital to driving student learning.”