A group of Dartmouth College alumni “angel investors” has established a venture capital fund to help businesses with connections to the college.
“Angel investors” put up money to help entrepreneurs and start-ups to get off the ground and grow. The idea is less about turning a quick profit and more about nurturing a business.
The investors behind the newly established Green D Fund have added a twist: They are all Dartmouth alumni whose money will be invested in businesses with a connection to the college, either through other alumni, faculty or current students.
Dartmouth ’86 graduate Mike Collins helped start the fund and will manage it. Collins says alumni of other colleges have established similar affinity funds whose benefits extend beyond the ability to secure capital.
“It’s not just money. It’s the fact that there’s a Dartmouth community and a group of Dartmouth alums behind the investment that can be invaluable in mentoring, access and advice,” he says.
Collins says the fund’s focus will be on technology. Nearly 100 companies have already expressed an interest in applying for funding. The Green D Fund plans to invest in one business each month beginning this spring.
Collins says in recent years legislation and technology have eliminated many hurdles to starting a small venture capital fund.
“It really is a lot easier to do small affinity funds today that it was even five years ago,” he says. “Today, the ability of a group of 40 or 50 people to get together and create a very logical, professionally run investment group is possible and it really hasn’t been before.”
The Green D Fund is working with the Boston-based company Launch Angels, which provides services to venture funds.
Collins hopes that now that the initial fund is closing, a second fund can be established.