College is time for learning, and sometimes the best type of learning is hands-on where you come to understand a trade by doing it. Emory University students wanted to learn about venture investing while figuring out a way to get funds to underrepresented startup founders. They are managing to do both in a new venture capital fund called Peachtree Minority Venture Fund, which will be introduced next spring as part of a class that students who run the fund will be taking.
The idea for the project had its genesis in some research at the Emory University Goizueta Business School. Willie Sullivan and his fellow students Kristen Little, Chis Anen and Alan Quigley were doing research on the experience of underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Atlanta area where the university is located.
“When we conducted interviews, one of the main things that came up, which always comes up, is how large of a problem access to capital is still for Black entrepreneurs. And so we were coming up with our recommendations. It was really ‘okay how can we as a university address this issue,’” Sullivan told me.