There are many reasons to consider venture capital. Here are five that make a strong argument.
Returns: Venture capital is an asset class that has outperformed the S&P over many periods.(1)
Portfolio diversification: Since VC returns aren’t completely correlated to the stock market, a venture portfolio is a way to diversify your overall portfolio.(2) AV offers venture portfolios diversified by sector, stage, region, and lead investors.
Staying private longer: Many ventures are staying private longer. When they do go public, they already have significant value creation behind them. (3)
Impact: Many of the companies our funds invest in are tackling society’s toughest challenges in health, energy, finance, transportation, and more. Investing in VC is fundamentally an optimistic statement that the future can be better.
Learning: Most of our investors are naturally curious people, looking to learn and understand what is new and what is next.
(1) Cambridge Associates, Venture Capital Benchmarks, March 31, 2019, (2) The Inverse Correlation Between Venture and Public Markets, March 2016, (3) Forbes, “Why more businesses are choosing to stay private,” February 26, 2020.
Broad and diversified venture portfolios with community: Most venture investors to date have been institutions who could commit millions per venture firm and have the resources to invest in multiple venture firms. In contrast, AV provides accredited investors a large, diversified venture portfolio for just $10K – $25k per fund.
Deal access and flow: We offer investors access to a portfolio of highly competitive deals invested alongside other established venture firms. Our investment activity consistently puts us among the most active VCs in the world according to PitchBook.(4)
Risk management through large, diversified portfolios: Our Alumni and Total Access Funds provide diversification across stage, sector, geography, and lead investor. In addition, given venture’s power law characteristics (a few huge winners offset losers), larger venture portfolios can reduce risk of loss while having an attractive upside compared to smaller venture portfolios.(5) Compare this to individuals who do an occasional one-off deal. For them, the likelihood of a substantial or complete loss of capital increases significantly.
Co-investing strategy: We invest alongside VCs with sector and/or stage expertise who lead the round and negotiate terms. Accessing promising venture deals is what our 20+ full-time investment teams are committed to delivering for you.
Community: AV leverages a network of 600,000+ subscribers and community members to source capital and deals, conduct due diligence, and assist portfolio companies. Our community grows daily, and our new Venture Clubs take our commitment to investor engagement, education, and network sourcing even further.
(4) PitchBook 2020 Annual Global League Tables, February 18, 2021. (5) Steven Crossan, “Modelling Suggests Rational Venture Investors Should Have Bigger Portfolios,” April 11, 2018.
We have 50+ investment professionals across AV’s family of funds and our Office of Investing. Our OOI helps source, evaluate, and coordinate deals. Most of our actively managed funds also have their own Investment Committee, consisting of experienced investors and business executives.
Our Alumni Funds are managed by a team of 2-4 full-time investment professionals per fund with strong investing and entrepreneurial experience. Our investment decision making is process-based, and the ultimate decision is based on the analysis and rating of a collective vote of the sponsor fund, sponsor fund’s Investment Committee, and the AV Investment Committee.
Our Total Access Fund and Focused Funds are managed by AV’s Office of Investing, with portfolios created from deals sourced and invested in by our Alumni Funds, as well as our dedicated Focused Fund investment team.
Our funds are only open to accredited investors. The SEC defines an accredited investor as someone who (a) has earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, OR (b) has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence), OR (c) holds certain professional designations in good standing approved by the SEC. Further details are available here.
Our Alumni Funds have a minimum of $25,000.
Our Total Access Fund has a minimum of $25,000.
Our Focused Funds have a minimum of $10,000.
Syndication opportunities, available only to existing investors, typically have a minimum of $5,000 – $25,000.
We are network powered, with a community of more than 600K subscribers and supporters. Beyond capital, we leverage our community to provide our portfolio companies with helpful connections, customers, and other robust CEO Services, including:
CEO Club: This private, safe space is exclusively for Alumni Ventures CEOs to learn from and network among the ~700 founders and CEOs we’ve backed.
Opening Doors: We offer an unparalleled network of more than 600K alumni, investors, and experts to move your business forward. While there are no guarantees, we believe we’re one-degree of separation away from anyone you may want to connect with.
Test Drive: Privately discuss your pitch with a panel of trusted experts who can help refine your presentation, evaluate your growth plan, and optimize your fundraising strategy.
AVTV: We will help you prep a 5-minute introduction on your company and then share it with our network of 600K+ community members. It’s a chance to present your story and make an ask of AV’s supportive audience.
Spaces: Need a working space for the day, some informal venture or operating advice, or maybe just a good cup of coffee? Use on of our six offices, all conveniently located in major venture hubs, with more to come.
We invest in companies at all stages—from pre-seed to pre-IPO—across all regions, and in (almost) all sectors. Our check size ranges from $100K to $10M with a sweet spot of $1M – $3M.
Beyond promising investments led by elite teams, we’re drawn to opportunities where we believe we can help. Often there is a strong alumni connection to one or more of our 18 Alumni Funds where we can catalyze company-building flywheels with our alumni communities.
We also have Focused Funds. Some invest by sector (AI, Blockchain, Deep Tech, Healthtech, etc.), others by stage (Seed and Growth), and others by theme (Impact).
It’s important to know that we are strictly a co-investor. We don’t sit on boards or set terms. We do try to be as helpful as we can.
No, but it helps if an executive on your team, board, your lead VC, or other friends of the company have an alumni connection. We’re called Alumni Ventures, but our goal is to back the best entrepreneurs whether or not they went to one of our focus schools.
We know raising a round is a pain, so we run a fast, low-friction, but disciplined investment process. And because we know what we’re looking for, we offer crisp execution from our initial investment to potential downstream rounds as your business grows. Please check in with other entrepreneurs we’ve backed. You’ll find that we’ve never missed a round because we couldn’t move fast enough.
There are a number of ways to get involved, even if you’re not raising a round.
- Join our Expert Community and advise one of our portfolio companies.
- Sign up for one or more of our newsletters by pressing the purple “Get Started” button.
- Want to refer or help vet or refer an investment opportunity? Reach out here.
- Or you can refer talent to one of our portfolio companies or to Alumni Ventures itself. Check our job boards here.
Venture Fellow Program
Fellows must a) be located in the United States, b) have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and c) must not be an investor in Alumni Ventures or one of our funds.
No; experience in venture capital is not required, only a passion for VC and career aspirations in the ecosystem.
There is no cost to participants; Alumni Ventures covers the full cost of the program and required resources.
Fellows who share a university affiliation with one of Alumni Ventures’ alumni funds are typically considered to be a Fellow with the corresponding fund. However, alumni affiliation is not required; fellows of all university affiliations and backgrounds can apply to the VFP.
Graduates of the fellow program move into a variety of roles in the VC and entrepreneurial ecosystem including working as venture capital investors, founders/CEOs of startups, operators at a VC or startup, VC fund managers and more.