A group of students from The University of Manchester have been selected to become the North West’s first ever team of student venture capitalists. The 17-strong team will work with Campus Capital, the innovative venture capital firm that operates in partnership with universities, to scout for high-growth local technology businesses seeking investment.
With nine women, a number of different nationalities and specialist subjects ranging from mathematics, engineering and economics to sustainability and textiles, they are likely to be the most diverse VC team in the region to date.
The students were selected from over 60 who applied and have now completed their ‘training bootcamp’ where they learned about investment and heard from entrepreneurs who had been through the process.
Campus Capital is based on US models such as the Dorm Room Fund and the Wolverine Venture Fund. The firm will invest sums from £50,000 to £200,000 in high-growth businesses in the city regions of its university partners. It has signed up The University of Manchester and University of Sheffield as its first partners and plans to roll out the model nationwide.
Michael Howe, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Campus Capital with Samantha Deakin Hill, said: “Our students represent the new face of venture capital. Their diversity means that the group has a wide range of knowledge and perspectives, while the involvement of the university allows them to draw on deeper insights from academics.
“All of our team members are passionate about venture capital though for different reasons – while some are looking to become investors, others see their future in technology or entrepreneurship and may have to raise investment themselves at some stage.
“This is a great opportunity for them to learn at first hand about the world of venture capital. By raising awareness of how the funding process works, we aim to create a new generation of investors and entrepreneurs and support the technology businesses of the future.”