Exclusive Interview: AlumVest – connecting universities with Alumni crowdfunders

Live Interview 10:00 AM PST

alumvestWhat is AlumVest?

AlumVest is a rewards and equity based crowdfunding platform that connects entrepreneurs (“Entrepreneurs”) from leading educational institutions with alumni and peer investors and supporters (“Funders”). We are launching our rewards based platform first, followed by our equity-based platform, which will initially be available to accredited investors, and subsequently will become available to unaccredited investors following regulatory changes in 2013.

Why did you launch AlumVest?

Our mission was born from meeting with many smart and driven entrepreneurs within our schools and alumni networks whose ideas we eagerly wanted to back and support. Our goal is to create a platform that connects alumni and peers with entrepreneurs from their affiliated school and peer networks to provide that crucial seed capital that seems to be missing in the “normal” early-stage fundraising environment. We also want to connect Entrepreneurs with mentors who want to help them succeed and create a network of opportunities.

Why should startups and entrepreneurs use AlumVest?

Funding and talent are two key ingredients for successful startups, yet both can be extremely difficult and time consuming to acquire. Tapping into the pool of alumni and peer networks, AlumVest is an efficient and cost effective way for early stage startups to raise seed capital and secure other critical resources, such as talent, mentorship and advise. We believe that our school- and network-centric approach can help startups effectively leverage strong ties that alumni and students develop to their alma mater, and the shared connections that members of the same network possess, and therefore, effectively mobilize more Funders.

alumvest1

lingLING CHEN

Founder/CEO

IDG, comScore, Groupon

Founded profitable education company & cross-border consultancy

Duke ‘06; Columbia ’14, MBA

sashaSASHA ABLOVATSKIY

COO/Chief Legal Officer

9+ years of legal practice in securities, corporate and m&a law at two major NY law firms

BA in Economics, UCLA ‘01; JD, Univ. of San Diego ’04

 

DevinThorpeDevin Thorpe thinks he is the luckiest person alive. After being “let go” from the best job he’d ever had—as the Chief Financial Officer of the multinational food and beverage company MonaVie—he and his wife ended up living in China for a year where he wrote Your Mark On The World and embarked on the career he’d always wanted yet hadn’t dared dream.

Now, as an author, a popular guest speaker and Forbes contributor, Devin is devoted full time to championing social good. His current life isn’t much like his past.
As an entrepreneur, Devin ran—at separate times—a boutique investment banking firm and a small mortgage company. He served as the Treasurer for the multinational vitamin manufacturer USANA Health Sciences years before becoming CFO for MonaVie. Over his career he led or advised on the successful completion of $500 million in transactions.

Devin squeezed in two brief stints in government, including two years working for Jake Garn on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee Staff and another year working for an independent state agency called USTAR, where he helped foster technology entrepreneurship during Governor Jon Huntsman’s administration. Devin is proud to have graduated from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, which recognized him as a Distinguished Alum in 2006. He also earned an MBA at Cornell University where he ran the student newspaper, Cornell Business.

Today, Devin channels the idealism of his youth with the loving support of his wife, Gail. Their son Dayton is a PhD candidate in Physics at UC Berkeley (and Devin rarely misses an opportunity to mention that).

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