Front Row Ventures, a student-run VC fund, has partnered with Real Ventures on its mission to invest $600,000 in 24 student startups.
Founded by three Montreal-based students, Front Row Ventures will make $25,000 equity investments in startups. The fund includes a team of 20 students from Montreal universities including McGill, Campus Montréal (UdeM, HEC, Polytechnique), Concordia, and UQAM, ESG, and ÉTS.
In a blog post, Real Ventures said that it partnered with Front Row Ventures to get insight into innovation coming out of campuses. “University communities produce vast amounts of intellectual capital – ideas and technologies that are crucial fuel for the creation of new businesses. They also contain enormous reserves of human capital, from fresh-faced undergrads to PhDs,” Real Ventures said. “As investors, we have long benefitted from the economic energy created by universities.”
Front Row Ventures has initially launched in Montreal, and plans to expand across Canada. The fund will stay in touch with the innovation ecosystem through events and advocacy on campuses, and follow a Y Combinator model of investing in companies before they have a valuation. At the next fundraising round when the startup’s valuation is established, Front Row Ventures’ investment is then converted into shares.