Rollins College Partners with venVelo to Fund Early-Stage Companies

Apr. 21, 2015 - The Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship (CFAE) of the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College announced today a long-term partnership with venVelo, one of the most active early-stage venture funds in central Florida. Building on a generous private donation from a Crummer alum, Rollins will invest in the venVelo fund. This new partnership creates a unique opportunity for venVelo to be able to offer an equity investment of $25,000 to each of the next four winners of the CFAE Venture Plan Competition (VPC). Held each spring, VPC is open to startups who have either a Rollins or Crummer student/alum in a senior management position within their organization. The 2015 winner, FattMerchant, will be the first company to benefit from the Rollins-venVelo partnership.

“Partnering with venVelo will allow the CFAE to continue to grow the annual Venture Plan Competition,” said Cari Coats, executive director of the center. “In addition to the investment, venVelo’s board brings hundreds of years of management experience that our students can leverage as they grow their companies.”

As part of the partnership, Coats will join the venVelo board.

According to Allen H. Kupetz, COO of venVelo and co-chair of the department of business at Rollins, “Two of venVelo’s earliest investments, flexReceipts and GENICON, are both run by Crummer graduates. We’ve known for a long time that Rollins produces the kind of business leaders that can run high-growth companies.”

About the Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship
The Center for Advanced Entrepreneurship (CFAE) is located within the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College. The CFAE provides Rollins students, alumni and business owners of growth stage companies with a variety of practical experiences, both in and out of the classroom, that promote successful entrepreneurship and family enterprise. The center is aligned with Rollins College’s mission and guiding principles of responsible leadership, excellence, innovation, and community in addition to the Crummer Graduate School of Business's mission which is “to prepare students to be both managers and leaders who will add significant value to their organizations and communities.” The Rollins Entrepreneurship program has historically been ranked in the top 25 nationally by Entrepreneur magazine and the Princeton Review. See http://www.rollins.edu/business/centers-of-excellence/advanced-entrepreneurship/ for more information.

About venVelo
venVelo, the premier early-stage venture fund in Florida for innovative companies seeking capital and mentoring, was launched in 2012 and quickly established itself as one of the most active venture funds in central Florida. It was named the 2014 “Tech Investor of the Year”. In addition to its investments, venVelo board members have been frequent speakers, panelists, and venture competition judges around the state. venVelo also has donated money to a variety of organizations working to develop the central Florida entrepreneurial ecosystem. See http://www.venvelo.com/ for more information.

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