Undergrads Organize University Venture Summit, a Unique Educational Conference on Venture Capital
University Students Bring Together Big Name Private Equity Professionals, Successful Entrepreneurs and the Next Generation of Business Leaders for the University Venture Summit, Jan. 17-19, 2008. Now in its Fifth Year, the Largest Undergraduate-Produced Private Equity Conference has Attracted Some of the Brightest Minds in the Business World Along with Students from Major Universities Who Hope to Enter the Difficult-To-Crack World of Venture Capital.
SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Students from 20 colleges and universities, including Purdue, UCLA and University of Michigan, will meet Thursday through Saturday for the University Venture Summit, a unique view into the world of entrepreneurship and venture capital that is nearly impossible for them to get elsewhere. For three days the students, veteran private equity professionals and successful entrepreneurs will network and explore the ideas and trends that make the venture capital industry one of the pillars of the U.S. economy—and notoriously difficult to enter for those without experience.
“This is a unique learning opportunity because most students of venture capital, private equity and entrepreneurship never meet successful professionals in these fields. On the other hand, the professionals learn about the next generation of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.”
University Venture Summit is sponsored by University Venture Fund (UVF), a student-run, education-based venture capital fund that has raised $18 million for students to invest in innovative start-up companies as a hands-on educational process.
Many University Venture Summit speakers and panelists are leading lights in the venture capital industry. The keynote speaker is Bill Price, founding partner of Texas Pacific Group (TPG), a private investment firm with a reputation for risk-taking and over $30 billion in capital under management. TPG’s past and present portfolio includes J. Crew, Bally, Burger King and Continental Airlines.
“The University Venture Summit is a great place for participants to find out about the dramatic changes sweeping the private equity world and how we can position ourselves to take advantage of the new realities," said Price. For private equity professionals, networking with students is an opportunity to learn as well as teach. Many college students are immersed in advanced technologies and consumer trends, both of which are fertile ground for blossoming enterprises needing the seed-money and early-stage capital of private equity.
A returning speaker for this year’s University Venture Summit is Joshe Wolfe, co-founder and managing partner of Lux Capital Management. Lux Capital is a research-driven investment firm that has built more than 20 companies from scratch and is widely respected in the industry for its expertise in nanotechnology. Some of the University Venture Summit panelists are not long out of college themselves. For example, panelist Ari Newman is co-founder of Filtrbox, of Boulder, Colo., a service that allows users to create custom filters to quickly and easily gather online information.
Conference Director Cynthia Young said the number of students in the University Venture Summit is intentionally kept relatively low so each student has opportunities to personally speak with industry veterans. “This is a unique learning opportunity because most students of venture capital, private equity and entrepreneurship never meet successful professionals in these fields. On the other hand, the professionals learn about the next generation of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.”
The University Venture Summit is one of the first to use the new conference networking tools of EventVue, said Young. EventVue allows attendees to begin networking before they arrive by identifying and contacting those whom they want to meet at the conference. Afterwards attendees can better follow-up, getting the most out of their networking opportunities at the summit.
The idea to bring together veteran venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs and business students was sparked by UVF. Founded in 2001, the UVF is a collaboration between students, educators and professional private equity partners committed to giving students an experience-based education in entrepreneurship and venture capital. Students raise money from limited partners, research early stage companies, then recommend investments in those startup enterprises they find promising.
The conference will be held in the Wells Fargo Building, 23rd floor, 299 South Main, Salt Lake City. Participating schools include Arizona State Univ., Babson College, Boston Univ., Brigham Young Univ., Indiana Univ., Northwestern Univ., Occidental College, Purdue Univ., Texas Univ., Thunderbird Global School of Management, Univ. of California-Los Angeles, Univ. of Michigan, Univ. of Minnesota, Univ. of North Dakota, Univ. of Oregon, Univ. of Southern California, Univ. of Utah, Univ. of Wisconsin, Utah State Univ. and Westminster College.
About University Venture Fund
Founded in 2001 at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, University Venture Fund (UVF) is an independent venture capital firm committed to improving the quality of entrepreneurial education for a diverse group of students at its participating universities. The fund is a collaborative effort between students, universities and the professional investment community in which students raise capital, perform due diligence on venture capital opportunities and make investments. In addition to being the largest fund of its kind, UVF is the first fund for which students raise all the capital and the first student-run fund that has a traditional limited partner relationship with its investors. Each year UVF hosts University Private Equity Summit when business students from around North America gather to share best practices and learn from investment industry professionals. Visit www.uventurefund.com.