First Round Capital Launches Dorm Room Fund | $500,000 Pilot Investment Fund For Students

Sep 26, 2012 • Entrepreneurship, Startups
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Josh Kopelman, managing partner at Philadelphia based First Round Capital has launched Dorm Room Fund, in a move to reach out to college dorm entrepreneurs, like he was in 1992 while at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He says on his blog, “I was a dorm room entrepreneur. I co-founded my first company, Infonautics, back in 1991 while I was a junior at Penn.  By the time I (barely) graduated, we had 20 employees.”

Infonautics Corporation went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1996.

Dorm Room Fund will begin with a pilot in Philadelphia. First Round Capital will inject $500,000 in capital (or $15,000 on average per Company) to the fund to be invested in startups founded by students’ recent graduates from Philadelphia-based universities.

For Students By Students

The investment fund will be a wholly student run investment fund for students with First Round Capital, the initial investor in the fund as an advisor and member of the Investment Committee as the fund works to raise additional capital independently. The fund will be located on campus, will focus on investing in companies that disrupt big markets that students have expertise in and will finance students based on their needs from between $10,000 – $20,000 to help them build and ship a minimum viable product out of the dorm room stage.

Earlier Experience

According to Josh, the experience at Penn taught him that college campuses are wonderful ecosystems for creating disruptive even naming giant firms like Facebook, Microsoft, Dell, Yahoo, Google, Warby Parker, Invite Media, Milo, and Admob all started in a dorm room.

The initial batch of eight students is on. Those interested in serving in the investment committee are asked to visit , sign up and wait an on-campus information session Thursday September 27.

Less Capital is Capital Still

He agrees that there have been amazing products that have helped today’s developers apart from the languages and APIs, and even less capital input but adds that doesn’t mean they are build freely. Then the loans come in. The accelerators and incubators want full time entrepreneurs’ so one either drops out of school or drop the project.

He further argues that even harder for venture capitalists to give this students money and though he loves Upstart , Funders Club , Capital; therefore time to go to the students is ripe.

Sam Wakoba

Sam Wakoba travels around the world's technology hubs and events writing about startups, VC’ s and ventures. Spends nights reviewing trending gadgets, ICT initiatives, and disrupting technology.

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