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Student-Led NYU Impact Investment Fund Invests in Startup 

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

The student-led NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF) has successfully completed its fourth investment with a $30,000 investment in EdVisorly, a Black- and female- founded business that has developed a community college-to-university platform, empowering community college students to connect with a university and achieve a bachelor’s degree.

EdVisorly is NIIF’s latest annual investment in four years. “We are very proud to have EdVisorly as this year’s investment and look forward to continued collaboration,” said Scott Taitel, clinical professor of public service and director of Social Impact, Innovation and Investment at NYU Wagner.

Nationwide, more than 6 million students currently attend community colleges, or nearly 40% of all undergraduates. According to research by the Community College Research College (Teachers College, Columbia University), 80% of community college students want to transfer to a university and earn a bachelor’s degree, but only about one-quarter eventually enroll in a four-year degree program, and only 15.5% earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of transferring.

EdVisorly partners with enrollment offices at four-year universities to boost community college transfer success among the most diverse pool of prospective enrollees in the U.S. Using EdVisorly, students can discover transfer opportunities at partner universities, learn about unique academic programs and resources, engage with university outreach teams, and apply for admission. Students on the EdVisorly platform are 79% BIPOC, 64% first generation, and include: the Pell Grant-eligible, honor society members, military veterans, STEM students, and international students, according to founder and CEO Manny Smith. The EdVisorly leadership team also includes Hanna Ving (chief operating officer) and Lizze Allison (chief strategy officer), both of whom earned their bachelor’s degrees by way of community college and were instrumental in the company’s founding.

This latest NIIF investment was the culmination of the year-long experiential learning course in which students from NYU Wagner, NYU Stern, and NYU Abu Dhabi were placed in five deal teams to source, screen, conduct financial and impact due diligence, develop investment memorandums and make competitive presentations to the Fund’s Investment Committee.

NIIF’s Investment Committee is composed of three Stern and Wagner alumni practitioners:  Graham MacMillan of the Visa Foundation, Monique Aiken of The Investment Integration Project, and Casey Clark of Rockefeller Capital Management. The legal due diligence for these investment prospects was conducted by students in NYU Law School’s legal clinic, making this a unique experiential learning curricular collaboration among NYU schools.  This investment follows NIIF’s first three investments in KIGT, whose mission is to bring electric vehicle charging stations to underserved communities; Sapient Industries, whose mission is to eliminate waste from our electrical grid using machine learning; and SmartGurlz whose mission is to engage elementary school aged students in STEM, particularly girls.

To date, NIIF has made $110,000 in investments.

NIIF continues next academic year with a diverse group of about 40 graduate and undergraduate student participants, competitively selected from a large pool of applicants.

About the NYU Impact Investment Fund
Developed as a joint venture between the faculty advisors and students of New York University’s Stern, Wagner, and Law schools, NIIF leverages the diverse expertise of business, public service, and law faculty to support student investors targeting social enterprises in the sectors of financial inclusion, environment, healthcare, aging, education, and food systems.  The experiential course includes processes to train the students on impact investing, provides practitioner guest lecturers, and creates an interdisciplinary learning laboratory. NYU schools’ development staff are also pursuing additional donations and grants for NIIF to enable this experiential platform to continue well into the future.
Learn more on the NIIF website.

About NYU Stern School of Business 
New York University Stern School of Business, located in the heart of Greenwich Village and deeply connected with the City for which it is named, is one of the nation’s premier management education schools and research centers. NYU Stern offers a broad portfolio of transformational programs at the graduate, undergraduate and executive levels, all of them enriched by the dynamism and deep resources of one of the world’s business capitals. NYU Stern is a welcoming community that inspires its members to embrace and lead change in a rapidly transforming world. Visit www.stern.nyu.edu.

About NYU Wagner
Since 1938, NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service has been educating and preparing the world’s future public service leaders to translate ideas into actions that have an effective and lasting impact on the public good. Our faculty’s research changes the way people frame, understand, and act on important public issues. We provide our students with critical skills, access to all that New York City has to offer, and a deep understanding of the context surrounding public service challenges—which they use to improve cities and communities across the globe. Ranked seventh nationally among all schools of public affairs, we offer a Master of Public Administration in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy, Master of Public Administration in Health Policy & Management, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Health Administration, Master of Science in Public Policy, Executive Master of Public Administration, and PhD in Public Administration. Learn more at NYU Wagner

 

Full story: Student-Led NYU Impact Investment Fund Invests in Startup That Aims to Boost Success of Community College Students Transferring to Four-Year Universities

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