Dorm Room Fund 100
Three years ago we decided to test a radical idea — Could a student-run venture fund bridge the gap between the best students and the…
Three years ago we decided to test a radical idea — Could a student-run venture fund bridge the gap between the best students and the market with the capital and support needed to bring their ideas to life?
Now, as the students leading Dorm Room Fund make their 100th investment, I’m confident the answer to this question is yes. Today, Dorm Room Fund is the best place for students to start careers as entrepreneurs and investors.
Not only have we validated that students are more than capable of making good investment decisions, we’ve seen Dorm Room Fund companies break records.
Take Lily for example.
At exactly this time two years ago, Dorm Room Fund invested in Lily. The company’s founder, Antoine Balaresque was a student at UC Berkeley and had the idea to build the world’s first autonomous flying camera.
What started with a student’s vision is now the largest pre-sale hardware product of all time. As of now, Lily has orders for 60,000 units totaling over $34M in sales and has purchase orders from all over the world. It also recently announced a $15M Series A, and The Wall Street Journal featured Lily as “Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2016.”
But Lily is just one of the many stories that has proven Dorm Room Fund’s impact on the startup industry.
In the past three years, Dorm Room Fund has taken hold on campuses in Boston, New York and the Bay Area, and has deepened its roots in Philadelphia. Nearly 100 students have joined as investment partners, funding and supporting student-run companies of their choice across the country. And, hundreds more are active members of the Dorm Room Fund network as founders of Dorm Room Fund companies, advisors, and alumni.
The scale of the Dorm Room Fund network is impressive, but the incredible people who make up this community are even more amazing. Recently, five Dorm Room Fund founders were named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list of innovators to watch. Two Dorm Room Fund companies appeared on Shark Tank. And, DRF portfolio companies have gone on to join incubators like Y Combinator and Techstars and raise follow-on funding from investors such as Google Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures.
On the investor side, Dorm Room Fund alumni have joined top-flight VC firms like Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Box Group, and Kleiner Perkins. Many others have started their own companies after graduation, or now lead teams at companies like Google, Facebook, AngelList and Stripe.
There’s a lot to celebrate, but still so much to do. We have the opportunity to help build a powerful network of investors and entrepreneurs, and it’s time to double down. That’s why we’re bringing new leadership, a new look, and a new commitment to serve members of the Dorm Room Fund community not only while they’re in school, but for the entirety of their career.
So what have we done already?
We brought on Rei Wang as Director of Dorm Room Fund. Hailing from General Assembly, GOOD Magazine, and Ogilvy & Mather, she brings a wealth of experience in unconventional education, community development, and program innovation. It’s the perfect blend to take DRF to the next level.
In our first year, about 50 student investors and companies participated in Dorm Room Fund, now Lily alone has over 50 people on their team. This year, we will focus our efforts on strengthening the Dorm Room Fund network and building services to support the hundreds of people in our growing community. We also redesigned our website to make it easier than ever for student entrepreneurs to connect directly with the student investors who lead Dorm Room Fund.
We’re continuously driven by the strength and passion of the students who take this journey with us and we’re excited to support even more entrepreneurs like Antoine and the amazing investment teams we have in the Bay Area, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
If you’re a student with a great startup idea, tell us about it here.