Have a novel idea or exciting business concept? Apply to compete in the Tiger's Den and win a Hampden-Sydney Venture Fund investment of up to $15,000. In the process, you will learn from seasoned entrepreneurs, perfect your pitch, and compete for seed funding to accelerate the growth of your venture.
To provide working capital to start-up ventures that have launched or are close to launch
Must be enrolled Hampden-Sydney students and alumni classes 2014-19. For-profit business models only. See General Rules below for details.
The decisions whether to make any investments and the amounts of those investments will be at the discretion of the judges. If awarded, investment(s) may range from $1,000 to $15,000.
The Hampden-Sydney Venture Fund is an investment by Hampden-Sydney College (or a subsidiary of the College) in a Hampden-Sydney student or young alumni business venture. While teams may compete and win the investment without being incorporated (or, in the case of a limited liability company, organized), the investment will only be disbursed to a corporation or limited liability company.
The winning team(s) will have the option to structure the investment as either a convertible note or a warrant. If the convertible note structure is selected, the team will enter into a Convertible Promissory Note and a Loan Agreement with Hampden-Sydney College or a subsidiary of the College (referred to as the "Investor"). If the warrant structure is selected, the team will enter into a Warrant and Investment Agreement with the Investor. Copies of the form agreements for both structures are available for review - email Justin Isaacs for copies.
- December 7: On-Campus Information Session (4 pm, FCEI Room Brown 203). Alumni can contact Justin Isaacs (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Greg Dempster (email@example.com) for additional details.
- January 25: Teams submit application and signed Program Participant Agreement to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 pm EST
- February 8: Teams are notified by email regarding advancement to Round II as finalists. Return signed Letter of Intent
- February 15—March 29: Finalists participate in formal and informal entrepreneurship education opportunities and work with mentors to develop their business
- March 30: Final Business Plan Due
- April (TBD): Finalists pitch to the panel of judges
- April (TBD): Finalists are notified of results by email
Apply by January 25 at 10pm EST
- Business Purpose - Explanation of the problem that exists and how the business idea solves this problem
- Potential - Support for the commercial potential, viability, and prospects for success of the business idea
- Validation - The idea has been tested in some way, big or small, with real potential customers (customer interviews, prototypes, surveys, etc.)
- Team - The credibility, "back-ability," and passion of the individuals behind the business idea
Mentorship & Entrepreneurship Education
The following is a sampling of the benefits available to the finalist teams:
- Education - Prior to the pitch competition, student and local alumni teams will participate in entrepreneurship clinics covering topics such as creating a business model canvas, preparing a pitch, and start-up life. Non-local alumni will have access to alternative educational resources including the Entrepreneur's Dashboard powered by IdeaSharesTM.
- Mentoring - Work with experienced mentors and entrepreneurs in the Hampden-Sydney community and beyond
- Networking - Connect with the Hampden-Sydney entrepreneurial ecosystem including investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders with a diverse range of expertise
- Community - Community is an important part of the Hampden-Sydney Venture Fund experience. Teams are expected to learn as much from one another as they do from the Hampden-Sydney College Venture Fund staff and mentors.