Dorm Room Fund - venture support by the students for the students
Most college dormitories are a mixture of unmade beds, maggi noodles and the posters of Sachin Tendulkar, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and political revolutionary Che Guevara. Now, we have two more things that capture the imagination of the young who seek out to make a change in the society: successful start-ups, and budding capitalists.
Dorm Room Fund was started in the US with a concept of students investing in fellow student's startup. First Round Capital, based in Philadelphia started Dorm Room Fund by putting in $500,000 in the hands of a 11-member investment team of college students. They are already considering about 200 student-led ventures and have selected six for investments averaging $20,000. The recipients include Firefly, a developer of co-browsing customer support software, and Dagne Dover, a handbag and accessories brand. The uniqueness of the Dorm Room Fund lies in the part where students are analysed and supported by fellow students in successfully running their ventures in the market.
The next thing India might need is the funding by the students for the students. The reason why Dorm Room Fund could be successful for student startups in India are:
Fellow students understand the difficulty of starting up their own venture whilst studying: Students have an array of things to plunge into. And it is observed that student take up many activities while studying, which not only keep them mesmerised but also infuse understanding of various problems and motivate them to find solutions. This never-give-up attitude makes them produce results even while they have the brunt of the pressure of study and of peers.
You have team members who are not only your peers and are also students: When your peers are students too, they understand you much better than anyone else. They are in the same pool as you are. And when you are being funded by a fellow students it adds a cherry on the icing. When you have a focused team backing you up then starting up and raising funds would be easy too.
Not much resources are required for starting up and VCs would love that: Being a student startup, you have many resources at your doorstep, like free internet connections, alumni networks and professors to guide you. Any investor at any point of the day loves the fact that their money is being utilized to scale the business and in turn aims at getting profits.
Hundreds of avenues to showcase the idea: While in college, a student has access to numerous portals where they can showcase what they are building. These are best methods to earn not only the accolades for the product being built but also to show the uniqueness of it.
Are there any Indian Investors taking up something like this?