Posted on February 20, 2017 by staff

Campus Capital appoints first team of student VCs


Campus Capital, the first company in the UK to build ‘on campus’ investment funds, has appointed its first team of student venture capitalists.

The 18 youngsters are studying subjects ranging from science and engineering to finance at The University of Sheffield.

They will help identify promising businesses and recommend investments, with the final decisions made by an independent credit committee.

Campus Capital, which is in the process of raising its first £2m, is based on US models such as the Dorm Room Fund and the Wolverine Venture Fund.

It will invest from £50,000 to £200,000 in high-growth businesses in the city regions of its university partners.

So far, The University of Sheffield and University of Manchester have signed up as its first partners and there are plans to roll out the model nationwide.

The student VCs were selected from almost 90 who applied, and have now completed a ‘training bootcamp’ where they learned about the economics behind a the fund, how to source and assess potential deals, and heard from entrepreneurs who had been through the process.

Samantha Deakin Hill, who co-founded Campus Capital with Michael Howe, said: “Our student VCs are passionate about start-ups and technology so businesses seeking funding can be assured that they will pay close attention to every pitchdeck they receive.

“Their diversity means each student VC group has a wide range of domain knowledge, while the backing of the university allows them to tap into a network of academics for deeper insights.

“For the students themselves, it’s a great opportunity for experiential learning and the bootcamp is just the beginning – the real education will happen when they start meeting businesses.

“They’ll get to learn how investors make decisions by sitting on the investors’ side of the table.

“If the UK is to generate more big technology businesses, young entrepreneurs need a deeper understanding of how investment works.

“By giving students first-hand experience as VCs, we aim to create a new generation of investors and entrepreneurs with the insight and ambition to succeed.”

She said that some of the student VCs are considering careers as investors, while others are interested in technology or entrepreneurship.

Tanja Kuzman, who is studying for a PhD in finance, said being selected as a student VC was ‘an amazing opportunity’.

She added: “For me it is really important to find out how investors think because one day I might be one of the entrepreneurs sitting across the table.

“I want to learn about the perspective of VCs and what they are looking for and also entrepreneurs – what kind of investor I would look for? Working with Campus Capital will give us an understanding of both sides.”

Another team member, medical student Alex Tanner, added: “The medical profession are often quite naïve about finance.

“I am now developing a set of skills which will follow me through into my career and help me in my future ventures as an entrepreneur in the medical field.

“It will enable me to realise what is attractive to VCs so my ideas are deemed to be investible.”