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Student-Run Venture Capital Fund Launches in Israel 

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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 Center for Entrepreneurship at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) is launching $1m student-run venture capital fund.

Cactus Capital will invest in student, recent graduate and academic entrepreneurial initiatives.

The fund will offer three tracks:
– Ignite: Up to $5,000 for technological startups in the ideation stage
– Validate: Up to $20,000 for technology startups seeking to validate a key assumption about their market or product
– Social Impact: Up to $5,000 for social entrepreneurship across different vertical markets

The idea to launch the fund was developed by BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi and BGN Technologies Director General Netta Cohen. BGN is the technology transfer company at BGU. The University will provide the funds.

Cactus Capital will be led by BGU students who have completed a hands-on training course in VC investing run by fresh.fund, Israel’s first university-focused venture capital fund.
Students who graduate the course with excellence will have the opportunity to join the investment committee of the first of its kind university-backed VC fund dedicated to advancing student innovation on campus.

Backed by Pico Partners, fresh.fund is Israel’s first university-focused venture capital fund. It invests $20k to $100k in early-stage tech companies (mainly software, across verticals) founded by exceptional students, academics or recent graduates. In some cases, fresh.fund may syndicate larger deals (up to $500k) together with other investors from its network.

Key people include:

  • Doug Seserman, chief executive officer of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU),
  • Dana Gavish-Fridman, vice president of entrepreneurship at BGN Technologies, and
  • Zaki Djemal, managing partner of fresh.fund.


Source: Student-Run Venture Capital Fund Launches in Israel | FinSMEs

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