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Social Venture Fund makes first student-led social entrepreneur investment

The University of Michigan's Social Venture Fund has two claims to fame, one recent, and another not quite so.

The first VC investment is the first student-led venture capital fund geared toward social entrepreneurs in the U.S.

"We're trying to support companies that are for-profit but have a social mission," says Seth Greenberg, director of the Social Venture Fund, and a second-year MBA student at U-M's Ross School of Business.

The Social Venture Fund was one of 17 investors participating in a Series A round investment worth $2.4 million. The start-up is Washington, D.C.-based LearnZillion, a web-based platform that gives students, teachers and parents access to a video library of high-quality, standards-based lessons taught by the nation’s top teachers.

The Social Venture Fund got its start in the fall of 2010. It aims to make early stage investments of up to $200,000 in start-ups that are sustainable, innovative, potentially profitable and with a plan to make a significant social impact at the heart of their mission. It is looking to make investments in both local and national businesses.

"We're considering a lot of Metro Detroit-based enterprises," Greenberg says.

Source: Seth Greenberg, director of the Social Venture Fund
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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