Cornell University Johnson at Cornell University


BR Ventures: Investing like the pros

Roy Ashok, MBA '09, the information and marketing manager for the Johnson School's student-managed venture capital fund, BR Ventures, was featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal online, "Students Get Chance To Invest Like the Pros" (9/18/08). Ashok commented on the real-world learning opportunities available with BR Ventures noting, "You can't get better than this."

studentmanagers BRV student managers, all MBA '09, and their faculty advisors: (front row, left to right) Saif Ajani, Caitlin Pollak, Alok Verma, Sara Standish; (middle row, left to right) Roy Ashok, Matt Dacey, Steve Peck; (back row, left to right) Professor David BenDaniel, Alvin Lin, Professor George Schneider.

The school's emphasis on performance-learning opportunities through the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute include BR Ventures, BR Consulting, BR Legal, and the upcoming BR Microcapital, which should launch this winter. The Journal article also mentions Johnson School alumnus James Macon, MBA '08, who was part of the team that recommended investing in e2e Materials LLC last year, and is now serving as the company's vice president of business development and leading its search for a Series A financing round of about $7.5 million. A producer of strong, biodegradable composites from renewable fibers and soy protein, e2e Materials won the seventh annual Big Red Ventures Business Idea Competition in 2007. The company's products include skateboards and a formaldehyde-free replacement for particleboard.

BR Ventures is also featured in a recent Technology Transfer Tactics article on how collaboration between student-run venture funds and technology transfer offices can create win/win synergies. The article features an interview with Steve Peck, MBA '09, BR Ventures' chief financial officer and liaison with the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization (CCTEC), and Alan Paau, executive director and vice provost for technology transfer and economic development at CCTEC. The article features Peck's advice on how to jump-start a student-run fund.

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