Lux Libertas Ventures is UNC’s first student-run venture capital fund, specializing in Generation Z consumer investments.
LLV focuses on pre-seed investments into consumer internet startups that attack the problems faced by Generation Z, such as mental health, digital wellness, consumer banking and other areas of exploration.
The organization is run entirely by UNC students with a strong advisory network of executives from Fortune 500 companies and tier-one venture capital funds.
Defining venture capital
Venture capital involves investing someone else’s money to achieve better returns than that person could themselves, said Sanjeev Musuvathy, a UNC sophomore, co-founder and managing partner of LLV.
In exchange, the person actively achieving those returns receives partial ownership of the company, and can eventually sell that ownership for a fair return on their investment.
“We think Lux Libertas Ventures has a really unique niche in North Carolina because there’s a major business-to-consumer venture gap, so only 7 percent of deals are actually funding consumer companies,” he said.
Musuvathy said most of these investors are multimillion-dollar investors putting money in at later rounds, so the organization aims to invest from the very beginning. This would give students in LLV a chance to connect startups at UNC, Duke and other universities around the nation to those North Carolina investors.
Because UNC has the first student venture capital fund in North Carolina, it allows for UNC’s leadership in the Generation Z venture capital space, Musuvathy said. Generation Z is a key area moving forward, because this consumer group has 40 percent of the total market with distinct consumers that buy and sell goods in different ways, he said.
“We’re digitally native, which means we’ve grown up completely with technology,” Musuvathy said. “We’re the most entrepreneurial generation in history, and we love gamification of products that like making things fun and as easy to use or as addicting as possible.”
Lux Libertas Ventures’ goals and fundraising efforts
Musuvathy said LLV’s goal is to invest $25,000 to $50,000 checks into the first investment round for any early-stage startup. Then, LLV works to partner with investors in New York, San Francisco and other cities with prominent venture capital firms to facilitate the process.