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Student-led VC fund at U of Nebraska makes its first investment

A venture capital fund led by students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has made its first investment.

The Husker Venture Fund awarded $25,000 to Sentinel Fertigation, a start-up aiming to solve profitability and environmental sustainability issues in agriculture caused by inefficient nitrogen fertilization.

“It’s a huge honor to be the first investment from the Husker Venture Fund,” says Sentinel founder Jackson Stansell, a doctoral student at UNL. “After they did some initial due diligence and I got to pitch to them, they asked some of the best questions I’ve gotten in my entire investment or fundraising process. I hope I can make them proud.”

Adam Folsom, a senior finance and management major at UNL and a managing director of the fund, comments, “The main driver behind our decision was our trust and belief in Jackson as a founder. He is unbelievably bright and making quick strides to become a successful entrepreneur. Our team is 100% behind Jackson and his mission at Sentinel Fertigation and excited to see his impact as a Nebraska-based founder.”

The fund is managed by 26 students and overseen by the UNL Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Nebraska Foundation and Invest Nebraska. All Nebraska-owned early-stage start-ups are eligible to apply for an investment from the fund, with priority given to businesses launched by students.

“In Nebraska’s ecosystem as it stands today, the funding cycle has a really big gap in the very early stage of start-ups,” says Joe Petsick, faculty adviser to the fund and assistant professor of practice in management at UNL. “The Husker Venture Fund offers people a shot they didn’t have before, and that could be transformational for the state.”

Source: Nebraska Today

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