Philadelphia: First Round Capital Debuts “Dorm Room Fund” For Student Startups

Josh Kopelman is the managing partner at Philadelphia based First Round Capital. While based in Philadelphia, First Round Capital, invests in companies across the country.

Kopelman got his start as an entrepreneur with his company Infonautics which he founded in his dorm room as a junior at Penn. By the time he graduated the company had 20 employees. Kopelman believes that colleges and universities house some of the best ecosystems for innovation.

That’s why he’s started the “Dorm Room Fund”. This new fund is set up to become a fund that is for students, and eventually run by students. While First Round Capital is injecting $500,000 in seed money to the fund, Kopelman is hopeful that the initial first investments will then select the next round, and the next and so on and so forth. Kopelman is looking forward to being an advisor to those companies selected to the fund.

This new student fund will:

1. Be run by a students – not suits.  A student investment team would know the entire student and campus ecosystem – allowing them to find, screen and invest in the best ideas

2. Be located on campus, so that it constantly has a feel for the vibe on campus

3. Students are engineers, marketers, financers, writers, doctors, lawyers and researchers… Allow them to focus on investing in companies that disrupt big markets that they (students) have expertise in.

4. Finance students based on their needs. Students are scrappy and often just need that first $10,000 – $20,000 in order to build their product and ship a minimum viable product – let’s call their current stage the dorm room stage…

First Round Capital and Kopelman hope to introduce the Dorm Room Fund in college cities across the country. This first round of investments is concentrated to Philadelphia and students that are either enrolled in, or just recently graduated from Philadelphia area schools like the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel.

Kopelman is currently on the prowl looking for the first 8 students who will serve on the investment committee, which will oversee which student run startups get investments from the fund.  If you’re interested in being considered for the investment committee you need to be a student in the Philadelphia area and hit the link below.


Join the committee or submit your startup here

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