Angel investors come from all backgrounds and industries, but Kansas City-based Knoda today announced it has received a $50,000 investment from a less likely angel group: students.
Through the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business, the Allen Angel Capital Education program allows students of any level to apply and participate in the investment landscape.
Knoda co-founder Kyle Rogers says the team first became connected with the angel program through the SparkLabKC accelerator, which the startup graduated from last August. The prediction software startup caught the attention of a number of the program’s students and last fall, Knoda visited Mizzou to more formally pitch their company.
“I’m not sure what I expected when I heard we’d be pitching to students who could potentially invest in us,” Rogers told Silicon Prairie News. “Whatever I did expect, they blew us away. They asked, to be honest, more savvy and difficult questions than we got from some other potential investors.”
The students complete every aspect of the process from voting on which companies should receive funding to completing due diligence and structuring investment contracts. The AACE program is funded through strategic partnerships internally at the University of Missouri and a number of donor relationships.
In November 2013, Knoda secured a seed round of funding from local angel investors and to date has raised about $400,000.
More recently, the five-person team released an update to its app and website in order to make social sharing easier. Now instead of needing to create a custom Knoda account, users can simply sign in using their existing Facebook or Twitter profile. The integration also allows users to share predictions on Twitter or Facebook through a one-touch publishing function.