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Venture Capital for College Students pursuing to be entrepreneurs

funds for college students
  [vote for,

My Idea:

Like scholarships, but for students pursuing to be a entrepreneur. The student must attend college (2 yr or 4 yr), major does not matter. They will have a mentor during their college years to ask advice to get help in school or with business ideas. The firm will pay for everything from classes, books, and room and board, etc. They will also have summer internships to help sharpen the student's skills in a real world athmosphere. After graduation, they will recieve $100,000 to help start their biz idea.

VC's complain that entrepreneurs are to young and need more experience, but ideas like Misrosoft was started by college age students. This will help budding entrepreneurs stay in college, make good grades, and also pursue their biz ideas. This will also make students finish their degrees because they will not get the $100,000 to start their business if they don't.

What you think?

adp9, Oct 27 2001


       More the point, there *are* lots of entrepreneurship-oriented scholarships, they *do* often include internships, and there are also lots of programs which review budding entrepreneurs' business plans and offer seed capital to the most innovative ones. This is pretty much totally baked.   

       Microsoft was started by college dropouts. Its founders never would have gotten the $100,000.
egnor, Oct 28 2001

       I seem to recall a false economy built on this premise which spectacularly collapsed not too long ago.
thumbwax, Oct 28 2001

       Yeah, something about a tulip craze, wasn't it?
snarfyguy, Oct 28 2001

       Aside from being totally baked, this idea raises some interesting issues. I was at an Intellectual Property seminar not too long ago (when they asked me what it is I do for a living I told them I was a part-time pastry chef, part-time inventor,) and they raised an interesting point. In Australia at least, every year we spend roughly $7 billion on research and development, but only $200 million on idea capitalisation.   

       Part of the problem is that our intellectuals are still very old-school, and our universities are lacking direction. In an Aussie university, you need to publish papers for your career to flourish. But when you publish papers, you're giving away valuable intellectual property. The catch is, in the age of economic rationalism, if you can't produce the green, there's no point in sticking around.   

       The uni I'm at is only just beginning to position itself. We've poached some very esteemed researchers in agricultural sciences and currently sell species of trees to farmers, a-la Monsanto. We protect our intellectual property too. One grower was using a species of tree developed by UWS without buying the rights to it, so they sent a team of repo men to slash and burn his entire crop - and to send a message to other growers. This is totally reprehensible but the inevidable result of the rationalisation of tertiary education that has taken place recently.   

       I firmly believe in government funded universal education for all, but business is business, so the two need to be seperated.   

       What is a better idea, and is baked (I saw it with my own eyes,) is a group called AusIT. They provide venture capital, and stand over consulting to a business. When you've finished your PhD or whatever, and you think you've got a sure-fire earner, you talk to them. If they think you're hot as well, they give you the green, and wait for you to build the business, providing consulting along the way. When the business reaches a particular size, they appoint managers, partners, or whatever. Very often, the people they appoint turn out to be the academics or researchers who initiated the project.
sdm, Oct 28 2001

       Actually, it was a whole slew of dot coms.
thumbwax, Oct 28 2001

       sdm: Your "AusIT" sounds like nothing more than an ordinary "VC firm" or "incubator", perhaps one that's specifally targeted to fresh graduates. Am I missing a distinction?   

       The "intellectual property problem" (knowledge sharing is a public good, but knowledge hoarding is a private good) extends to more than the educational system, of course, though it's particularly obvious there.
egnor, Oct 28 2001

       Yeah, there are a whole bunch of incubator firms targeted at different groups, no surprise there. I was just using AusIT as an example because it targets universities specifically.
sdm, Oct 28 2001


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