Student Entrepreneurs to benefit from $100M X-Fund

It’s a positive commentary on the state of entrepreneurship that the first Fund – aka the $10M ” Experiment Fund” -was a huge success and that NEA, Breyer Capital and Accel saw the massive demand and remarkable talent and passion of student entrepreneurs, at both the under – grad and grad levels. They made five investments out of Fund 1, in a very diverse group of companies. These include:

-investing services startup Kensho Technologies Inc.,

-law search startup Ravel Law Inc.,

-TV and DVR mobile service Philo Inc.,

-apartment search site Zumper Inc.

-nursery device startup Rest Devices Inc.

Kensho, for example, is interesting on many levels. Co- founder Dan Nadler went to Harvard with Mark Zuckerburg. Kensho, combines natural language search queries, graphical user interfaces, and secure cloud computing to create a new class of analytics tools for investment professionals and has raised over $25M

Ravel Law was co-founded by two Stanford Law School graduates. The company is working to establish an alternative to LexisNexis for lawyers and others researching cases.

The VCs decided to capitalize the second fund at $100M, and to re-brand it the X-Fund. It’s a welcome addition to the DormRoomFund, led by FirstRoundCapital, as well as StartX, the Stanford Accelerator and UCVenture Fund.

I do hope that the number of future applicants will expand well beyond the high (70% of all applicants) MIT/ Harvard concentration of the Experiment Fund. Stanford accounts for another 10%. As there are so many great tech-centric student entrepreneurs working diligently at Northeastern, BU, BC, Babson, Wentworth, WPI, UMass Lowell and Hult, amongst many others institutions of higher learning in the Greater Boston / Cambridge area, they need to be as diligent at raising capital as they are at building great ted based products

The DormRoomFund is a great initiative from FirstRoundCapital, but we need more strongly capitalized funds like it to meet the needs of the many talented young students building tech startups in the greater Boston area and beyond. X -Fund is a welcome addition to the landscape

Best wishes to General Partners Patrick Chung and Hugo Van Vuuren as they expand the fund. Your mission is a noble one.

Author: Mike Grandinetti

Mike Grandinetti is a serial VC - backed entrepreneur ( 2 NASDAQ IPOs, 5 strategic trade sales), startup mentor ( Techstars, Betaspring, Founders Institute, MassChallenge, Greentown Labs, Hacking Health EcoFuel), public speaker (TEDx, International Startup Festival, C2MTL) , Professor of Entrepreneurship (MIT, Hult International Business School & Technical University of Denmark), entrepreneurship competition judge ( MIT $100K, Hult Prize, Hult Impact Challenge, Mass Challenge) , angel investor and board member. He is currently Managing Director of both StartupNext Boston (part of Techstars) & ProtoHack Boston and also serves as Global Professor of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Marketing & Leadership at Hult International Business School, where he won 4 Global Teaching Excellence Awards and was named the Financial Times Professor of the Week. Formerly with McKinsey, he also serves as a consultant and senior advisor to national and regional governments, global corporations, startups and early stage investors.

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