I recently joined up to help start a student-run private equity fund at Kenan-Flagler. It's a pretty cool gig and certainly worth writing about.
We think we're one of the first - if not the first - funds of this type in the nation, at least in terms of our stated goal of delivering a significant return to our investors. (In other words, this isn't a creative way to raise funds for the school.)
The team has four 2nd year MBA students, four 1st year MBA students, and will recruit 2 undergrad analysts over the next few weeks. We made our first investment in January in TransEnterix Inc., a medical device startup company in the Research Triangle that recently closed $20 million in financing. In the future, I'll focus my efforts on sourcing and evaluating early-stage technology deals.
Aside from the first investment, evaluating a handful of other opportunities, and trying to get our act together in general, we've done nothing but try to raise more money. We already have $1MM in the bank and hope to raise another $2MM by the end of May. Talk about a trial by fire. The people I've pitched haven't pulled any punches or done us any "it's for the students" favors, which has made for an extremely educating experience.
We don't have a website yet, but here's a press release
and an article from The Times of London
. I'll post more as we continue to pick up some steam.