The Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF) is a 501(c)(3) student run organization that funds high-growth potential, startups in Northeast Ohio in the area of Advanced Materials, Medical Technology, Fuel Cells, Energy Storage, Medical Technology, Software Applications, Sensing and Automation Technologies, Situational Awareness Systems, Surveillance Systems Solar and Photovoltaics. Not only do we provide funding for companies, we also provide an experiential learning opportunity for students of Northeast Ohio's colleges and universities. This is done by teaching the partners about the startups, early-stage financing, and the due diligence process. While participating in the fund, partners are exposed to a number of executive summaries, investment presentations, and become comfortable with asking tough questions directly to entrepreneurs. The fund is typically among the earliest money into companies. The portfolio companies have been able to successfully attract follow-on funding after receiving NEOSVF investment capital. We have funded 10 companies to date.
The Educational Value
This serves as an extremely valuable and unique educational experience for us while we provide funding and assistance for promising startups in the Northeast Ohio community. Partners are exposed to startups that are in a variety of tech-based industries from software for healthcare and business to medical devices. They learn to evaluate opportunities unlike anything in a book or class. Additionally, the partners learn soft skills. They learn to work in teams, which includes working with partners from vastly different educational and professional backgrounds. For example, partners' progressing in doctoral studies in the sciences, like polymer science, work with partners pursuing undergraduate liberal arts education. Technically educated partners have become much more comfortable with business concepts and pitching while non-technical partners have learned to talk tech.
Our partners are graduate and undergraduate students from six Northeast Ohio universities, which include the University of Akron, Kent State University, Walsh University, Notre Dame College, Case Western Reserve University, and the College of Wooster. The partners come from a variety of backgrounds, include but are not limited to law, business, science, engineering, finance, and the arts.