Announcing the Atlanta Student Fund

Urvaksh broke the news this morning about the new $1 million fund for Georgia Tech student startups called the Atlanta Student Fund (site coming soon) as part of Atlanta Ventures. Georgia Tech is an amazing university with a top-flight engineering school and a tremendous asset to the City of Atlanta.

Here are a few notes on the Atlanta Student Fund:

  • $5,000 – $10,000 investments in startups with a current GA Tech student on the founding team
  • Convertible note (a loan that turns into equity upon a qualified financing event)
  • Memberships and desks at the Atlanta Tech Village
  • Target of 10 investments per year (opportunistic)
  • $1 million fund to invest over three years, inclusive of follow-on investments

Overall, the goal is to increase the number of successful, seed stage startups in Atlanta that then grow into larger, meaningful companies. Georgia Tech has tremendous talent and there’s a real opportunity to increase the amount of entrepreneurial activity on campus.

What else? What are your thoughts on the opportunity for more startups at Georgia Tech?

5 thoughts on “Announcing the Atlanta Student Fund

  1. As a Tech alum and an Atlanta native, this is extremely good news. I’m not that far removed from Tech (’07 B.S. ISYE), but the growth in this startup/ entrepreneurship area is fantastic to see. Having successful startups spearheaded by Tech alums including CallRail, eCommHub, Titin Tech, (Body Boss Fitness!) etc. are very inspiring, and can an big pull of more great minds into Tech and the Atlanta community.

    I’d like to see more mentorship, and more marketing, however, come out of the two camps of Georgia Tech and Atlanta. Babson College does a great job of marketing and pulling in talent by being known for their entrepreneurship programs. Harvard by virtue of being left at the alter as notable persons including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg has also fielded much notoriety for its entrepreneurship. (Or perhaps just their talent pool being that much more interested in founding companies than the Harvard diploma.) The Valley, of course, does a great job of marketing itself as the place to be for entrepreneurs and money, while I have seen Denver push itself to be one of the leading cities for startups.

    I’d like to see both Georgia Tech and Atlanta showcase the growth of entrepreneurship and their respective programs and what makes them great. I believe many publications are starting to take note and it’s great to see ATV be a catalyst for this movement. More concerted efforts are needed to not only show Atlanta (and Tech) as a growing startup capital, but also to help sustain the movement.

  2. I really can’t even describe how excited I am for this! This is a game changer.

    Here’s where I predict impact:

    - Because of the availability of additional funding, students might apply for this investment during senior design courses. The extra money means they’ll be able to create well manufactured prototypes or take on independent projects that aren’t legally tied to a corporate sponsor. You might actually see people with brilliant product ideas continue on with them after the course ends rather than see 8-9 months of work go into the dumpster.

    - Georgia Tech is going to attract freshmen and graduate students who are attracted to the entrepreneurial potential of Atlanta

    - Going through the fundraising process will give students a chance to understand what it’s like to raise money

    - It will lower the barrier of entry for promising students to flex their entrepreneurial muscles – just like the PURA awards lets students learn to ideate and follow through with their own independent research projects

    - It will give students something to aspire to. If reinforces the message that if they take pursuing their ideas seriously, then someone will seriously listen to them.

    - It’s going to strengthens existing entrepreneurial societies (such as the Startup Exchange) by allowing there to be a “next step.” It makes it a logical sequence to go from hackathons, to Startup Semester, to getting Atlanta Student Fund investment, to incubators, and so on.

    And this is just scratching the tips of the iceberg. There’s probably going to be so much more. Thanks for giving to our community David – I’m sure you won’t be let down. Entrepreneurship at Georgia Tech, #wecandothat.

    -Aswin

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