"The W Fund will directly advance the academic mission of the University of Washington by providing opportunities for students to take a material role in the W Fund’s investment process."James Jiambalvo
Dean of the UW Foster School of Business
UW Student Venture Associates
The UW Student Venture Associates (SVA) are an element of UW’s Bridge Funding Program, dedicated to expanding funding opportunities for University start-ups and providing opportunities for students to participate in real-world early-stage funding activities.
The SVA program was established by the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) and is funded by both the C4C and the Washington Research Foundation, working in collaboration with the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, to foster experiential learning opportunities for UW students. The program will provide a tremendous value-add to each student’s education and arm them with transferable skills.
W Fund Invites UW Students to Serve as Venture Associates
Students in the program will have their first opportunity to gain valuable training and practical experience by serving as Venture Associates of the newly launched W Fund. The W Fund is a university-focused venture fund which aims to invest approximately $20 million over the next four years in promising start-ups spinning out of the UW and other research institutions across the state.
Students will work in teams which are coached by W Fund Investment Committee entrepreneurs and venture executives, and will influence decisions on investments of $500,000 or more. They will engage in investment due diligence and prepare investment memoranda regarding their findings for investment opportunities represented by companies seeking W Fund investment.
With the benefit of SVA diligence reports, Fund decisions will be made by the W Fund Investment Committee, which includes top executives from leading venture capital firms in the Pacific Northwest including Madrona Venture Group, OVP Venture Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, and WRF Capital. The Fund is expected to invest in 20 or more start-ups between 2012 and 2016.
More than 100 students have completed SVA prerequisite Venture Investing course
The W Fund worked with the Foster School of Business Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship to engage a full-time instructor to teach a new venture investing course, a prerequisite for undergraduate students seeking to apply to become Venture Associates. More than 100 UW students have taken the class to date representing a wide range of departments including chemical engineering, bioengineering, economics, mathematics, and statistics, in addition to the Foster School. The instructor also serves as the student program director for the SVA program, coaching the students’ execution of business diligence and analysis.