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UT Austin start-up fund gives students access to both sides of the investment table

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 23rd, 2018

The University of Texas (UT) at Austin is running a fund that puts students on both sides of the investment table.

The Genesis Program offers UT Austin students, both graduate and undergrad, the chance to invest in start-ups founded by their peers at the university. Students are also able to partner with alumni to mentor the companies they fund.

Genesis was created after the release of a study by the Longhorn Engineering Advisory Delegation (LEAD), UT Austin’s young alumni engineering advisory board, which found that the biggest roadblock to start-up activity at the university was not a lack of talent or ideas, but rather a lack of funding. The fund launched in 2016.

“For the first time, student entrepreneurs had a source of real cash to build their ideas, and all students now had access to hands-on learning by serving as venture capital investors,” says Jeff Auster, a chemical engineering student at UT Austin and co-founder of Genesis.

Applications for funding have grown each semester. So far, Genesis has invested in 16 companies across a range of fields and colleges.

“This is just the beginning of a permanent resource on campus,” says Katherine Allen, a mechanical engineering student at UT Austin who co-founded Genesis alongside Auster. “Genesis will continue to back more and more talented students each semester, provide them continued support as they grow and teach student leaders how to be investors in the ecosystem.”

Source: UT News

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