Welcome back to Van Wickle Ventures!
What a busy time it’s been for us at Van Wickle Ventures, Brown’s student-run VC fund!
Since the start of this school year, we’ve spoken with around a hundred founders and conducted due diligence on over ten companies, making it one of our most productive years to date. All of these conversations we’ve had and relationships we’ve built continue to motivate us in the work we do, and we can’t express enough gratitude for everyone that makes VWV possible.
Since the conclusion of last semester, we are excited to announce the following:
📈 Our new investment in Apprenta!
👩🏫 Piloting our curriculum taught as a credit-bearing GISP
🗺 Expanding our content sphere through market maps
👥 Our new cohort of 8 incoming analysts!
In funding news, we’re excited to announce our investment in Apprenta, a HR/SaaS company that builds micro-apprenticeship programs that can be integrated into the hiring process for mid-skill roles. The venture, founded by Amanda Bakerlee, Brown ‘14, brings innovation to the mid-skill market with a product that aims to make hiring more equitable and efficient. Be on the lookout for our next VWV Volumes post, where we’ll dive into Apprenta’s value proposition and our conviction, but we are so excited to back Amanda and Apprenta on their journey!
Piloting our GISP: Break into VC - An Overview of Modern Early Stage Investing
We at Van Wickle Ventures have made it one of our missions for the 2022-2023 year to further the mission of our educational ethos: to bring more students into the study & practice of venture capital.
One commitment made when conceptualizing the syllabus and intention of the GISP was to democratize access to our study of venture capital.
In our proposal for the course, we noted:
🔍 "For most, the venture capital space is shrouded in mystery, with only spurts of information about enormous valuations reaching the ears of an attentive few. This blackbox contributes to its positioning as an industry reserved for a select few who are uniquely positioned to enter it due to their background in economics or experiences in adjacent and more well known industries like Investment Banking."
With that being said, we will be publishing our curriculum as a segment of our website as we engage in learning through the semester. The main goal of the course is to demystify key terminology and give students tangible tips for how to break in to VC professionally.
Guided by our educational ethos, we also embarked on expanding our content initiates by in-depth industry research, also known as market maps.
Guided by the likes of Bessemer Venture Partner’s Roadmaps, Contrary’s Research, and ClimateTech VC’s Insights, we modeled our desired end product around a slide deck to be shared, starting with a segmentation of fintech, and specifically exploring the alternative lending vertical. Keep any eye out for more of our insights going forward, as we’ll be using these to guide future thematic investing strategies at the fund.
Welcoming Cohort 5, our incoming VWV analysts!
We’ll be publishing a lovely graphic on our content channels to introduce all new analysts, but here you can find their bios:
Fuka Ikeda is a freshman from Japan concentrating in Computer Science; who is passionate about using design to create innovative solutions while considering ethical implications. You can find Fuka going on photo walks with her camera, taking long naps, or swinging around on the static trapeze as part of Brown Aerial Acrobatics!
Sunav Nambiar is a freshman from Bombay, India studying Computer Science, Applied Mathematics and International and Public Affairs. In his free time, you can catch Sunav reading about Formula 1, playing badminton or sitting on the Main Green.
Lara Gamaleldin is a freshman from Cairo, Egypt intending to concentrate in Behavioral Decision Sciences. In her free time, you can find her exploring Providence with friends and doing the Wordle.
Rohan Zamvar is a sophomore from Sunnyvale, California studying Business Economics and Data Fluency. In his free time, you can find Rohan jamming out on his keyboard or watching Survivor.
Abigail Gonzalez is a sophomore from the SF Bay Area passionate about the intersection of finance and sustainability, with a specific focus on climate tech. Outside of the classroom, Abigail is involved with Brown Women’s Collective, Women in Business, and Scholars of Finance, as well as a member of the women’s club soccer team.
Raghav Muthukumar is a junior from Bangalore, India concentrating in Computer Science and Economics with an interest in social entrepreneurship and venture capital in developing markets. In his free time, he edits photos on lightroom, watches Guy Ritchie films, and tries his best to support Arsenal FC.
Sam Musker is a Ph.D. student studying Computer Science and Philosophy, with a focus on AI. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, he majored in Philosophy and Science at Penn and worked for a year at BCG in Boston prior to graduate school.
We’d like to thank you all for being subscribers to our newsletter, whether new or old. The team gains so much from putting together what we are consuming in venture, . If you have any content you’d like to see us cover, or please reach out - we’d love to hear from you!
As always, if you happen to know any founders (or are a founder yourself!), investors, experts, or mentors we should speak to, we’d greatly appreciate if you sent them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Upward & onward,
Ria & Amanda