The University Venture Fund (UVF) is an investment firm that partners with well-known venture capital and private equity firms to provide college students with opportunities to perform real-time due diligence and engage in value-add projects. Through UVF involvement, students become actively engaged in real-world investment experiences by working on live deals with professionals at top-tier investment firms and making direct investments alongside the firms they assist.
During their time with UVF, student associates develop a solid understanding of the skills needed to effectively identify successful companies, as well as the principles upon which successful companies are built. UVF helps students take their education beyond the classroom and accelerates their development into the next generation of world-class entrepreneurs and investors. UVF alumni have gone on to apply their skills and add value at many of the world’s top private equity firms, consulting firms, investment banks and social entrepreneurship organizations.
UVF has invested alongside globally respected investment funds such as Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Hummer Winblad, Epic Ventures, Battery Ventures, Frazier Healthcare, RWI Group, Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. To date, UVF has invested in 24 companies; 8 of which experienced successful exits via four initial public offerings and four acquisitions by a financial buyer.
A real-time, real-world curriculum in entrepreneurship and private investing is difficult to create in a traditional classroom setting. The University Venture Fund solves this problem by creating a means for students to learn valuable skills through real-time, real-world business experience. Student associates invest significant capital in real private equity deals and are mentored by professionals in the industry.
The private equity industry provides the distinct advantage of enabling an investor to examine all facets of emerging technologies and growing businesses. With students actively participating as investors, they are able to see through the curtain of real startup enterprise and learn from the experience of successful entrepreneurs to identify what makes a business succeed.
The mentors to the student associates at the University Venture Fund are markedly successful, and work closely with the students to mentor, educate and train. These individuals bring industry expertise in venture capital and entrepreneurship across a wide array of vertical industries.
The University Venture Fund has multiple distinctions from other private equity firms.
With the hundreds of students involved in UVF across the country, students are in touch with innovation at a grass roots level. The program attracts students doing new and interesting start-ups and they are immersed in an environment that enables them to recognize and act on social and consumer trends. This experience helps our associates to identify and connect with potential investments that may otherwise go unnoticed by the venture capital world.
As an investment partner UVF also brings value to its portfolio companies and syndicate partners by providing due diligence and value-added research services. UVF provides services that include in-depth analyses of markets, industries and management teams; financial modeling and exit analysis; strategy and competitive analysis. Many companies and investment firms leverage UVF associates to accomplish important work that might otherwise not be performed due to budget and staff constraints..
The University Venture Fund is currently comprised of graduate and undergraduate student associate from the University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City,.
Student associates come from diverse educational and industry backgrounds including: computer science, economics, accounting, finance, engineering, entrepreneurship, consumer science, biology, pharmacology, political science, math, chemistry and digital media. This allows for the University Venture Fund to be an industry-agnostic fund and gives the ability to look at industries such as nanotechnology with the same depth and understanding as consumer goods companies.