Peter Thiel may be paying students to skip college, but undergrad entrepreneurs need not worry–there’s plenty of money out there for them as well.
Several VC firms on the lookout for the next Michael Dell or Mark Zuckerberg have launched investment funds aimed at college entrepreneurs.
First Round Capital created a $2 million fund called the Dorm Room Fund, which targets student-run start-ups at dozens of schools, including the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell.
General Catalyst has launched Rough Draft Ventures, which will back 10 to 20 student entrepreneurs at 60 Boston universities. Meanwhile, three other firms–NEA, Polaris, and Accel Partners–created the Experiment Fund on the Harvard campus, with plans to back four to six companies each year with $50,000 to $500,000 seed rounds.
The Dorm Room Fund and Rough Draft Ventures even rely on student-run investment committees to make the investment decisions. “We’ve been blown away by their insight,” says Phineas Barnes, a partner at First Round. “They have excellent judgment.”