Utilizing a founding gift from Jeff Moskow of $500,000, the Rebel Venture Fund provides experiential learning opportunities for UNLV students through participation in real world venture capital funding. Student board members screen investment opportunities and conduct due diligence on those deemed as fundable. The Rebel Venture Fund management board, which consists of local venture capitalists, angel investors, attorneys, entrepreneurs and business executives, oversees the investment process.
“The Rebel Venture Fund is UNLV’s student-run venture capital fund,” said Stefan Colovic, CEO of Rebel Venture Fund. “Our team screens deals, performs due diligence, and makes investment recommendations, typically between $25,000 and $50,000. The entire investment process is overseen by our Management Board, which is composed of angel investors, venture capitalists, and other business professionals.”
Walls360, a local company that creates on-demand wall graphics, was the Rebel Venture Fund’s first portfolio company.
“I love how their team frequently contributes to the Las Vegas community,” said Colovic. “Walls360 recently received an investment from VegasTechFund, and I am glad to see them doing well. The Rebel Venture Fund will announce a new portfolio company in the near future. I cannot release any details right now, so stay tuned!”
Startup companies seeking an investment from the Rebel Venture Fund can apply via Gust here.
“Most importantly, we look for talented high-growth companies that contribute to the Las Vegas community,” said Colovic. “An investment in a startup is a long-term relationship, so we aspire to identify teams that we would be happy to work with for years to come.”
“I believe in the ability of great Las Vegas startups to raise capital, whether it is from Las Vegas or from other sources,” he said on the sources of capital available to startups in Las Vegas. “At the end of the day, many startups will fail; it’s simply the nature of startups. However, those that have what it takes to succeed will thrive in Las Vegas. With that being said, I would love to see the investment community be more collaborative. We have been working together a lot more than we have in the past, and I hope to see it continue in the future.”
Colovic and the Rebel Venture Fund team is hosting a Startup Community Mixer on May 14, 2015 at Work In Progress. Entrepreneurs, students, angel investors and other members of our startup community are invited to attend.
“The goal of the Startup Community Mixer is to gather and engage a diverse group of people from the Las Vegas startup community. This event is a great way to help people build relationships and explore new opportunities,” he explained. “Our team has been discussing hosting a mixer in Downtown Las Vegas for weeks, but the “startup community” aspect of the event was inspired by Brad Feld, a VC with Foundry Group. I recently read his book, Startup Communities, and I wanted to incorporate his philosophies in the event.”
Colovic says he would love to see #VegasTech be more involved with UNLV.
“The University is full of intelligent, motivated students and numerous resources, so I think it would be beneficial for both parties to collaborate as much as possible,” he said. He encourages anyone who is currently a part of the Las Vegas startup community, or wants to be involved in it, to attend the upcoming Startup Community Mixer event.
“I often meet people, especially students, who wish to engage with startups and investors, but they are not sure how,” he said. “This event is a great start for them! I firmly believe that anyone who wants to contribute to the startup community should have the opportunity to do so. I love the #VegasTech community. People within the community welcome outsiders with open arms, and the community always offers assistance to others. Every organization and community should strive to cultivate such a culture.”