Financed by Founders Factory – a tech startup accelerator program – the Creator Fund wants students to invest in other students – using its own unique ‘alternative route to growth’ for university-based startups.
The Creator Fund will be using its own network of young VCs, made up of PhD, Masters and undergraduates students within 13 UK universities, to train students to find and fund up to £30,000 each in the most-innovative student founders.
Refund Giant, an Imperial College London-based startup has already received the VC fund for its company which syncs with credit and debit cards to automatically issue fast, hands-free VAT refunds for travellers.
The Creator Fund investment team is made up of a mix of students focused on supporting ‘the greatest possible diversity of thought’ and diversifying the VC industry from the ground up.
Current members include Richa Bajpai from India who has previously built a global CSR company that raised over £20m and a Nigerian platform, founded by Toyosi Ogedengbe, which helps investors deploy capital in West Africa.
Creator Fund will be investing in seven student startups over the next 12 months to help launch their ideas on campus before launching into other universities in Europe.
Jamie Macfarlane, Creator Fund founder and CEO, said, “In the US, many of the great tech companies were born on college campuses – Facebook, Google, Snapchat & Yahoo were all started by student founders.
“The UK has some of the world’s best universities and the same potential for students founders to be creating great businesses. For those high potential students to pursue this path, they need better access to three things – capital, business support and community.
“We, at Creator Fund, are delivering a new VC model specifically focussed on delivering this. We’re training students at top universities to find and invest in deals with their peers and give them the early-stage support they need. And creating a community where they look around and see other people taking this entrepreneurial path.”
Henry Lane Fox, Co-founder and CEO of Founders Factory, added, “What Creator Fund is doing is very special. They are challenging the VC landscape and we are excited to be part of it. It is giving highly-educated students the skills to be the investors of the future and uncover the founders of tomorrow.
“At Founders Factory we want to power startup founders to go further, faster. To date, we have supported founders from all backgrounds imaginable and are now able to widen our net even further to unearth the most exciting startup talent, within the UK’s top universities – the birthplace of some of the world’s most celebrated companies. Entrepreneurs are the ones who are shaping a better future, we have a duty to support them wherever they come from, however we can.”
Image Copyright – Founders Factory