Episode 1: The Genesis of Alumni Ventures Group

About Founders and Funders

Welcome to the Founders and Funders podcast, a forum where we discuss how entrepreneurs and investors work together to build great new companies. In this first episode, Mike Collins, CEO and Founder of Alumni Ventures Group (AVG), shares how he came up with the idea to start the business and how it’s unlocking venture capital for people eager to invest in promising young companies.

Listen: Ep. 1 – The Genesis of AVG with Mike Collins

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About Mike Collins and AVG

Over the past 30 years, Mike Collins has been involved in nearly every aspect of venturing from angel investing and venture capital to new product launches and business incubation. Mike is the Founder of Alumni Ventures Group. The company creates and manages venture capital funds, offering accredited investors a smart, simple way to invest in a key asset class that has until now largely been inaccessible for individuals. AVG offers a variety of diversified and focused funds and is currently one of the most active venture firms in the world. Learn more about Alumni Ventures Group.

Episode Highlights

As Mike points out, “Entrepreneurship is a very unusual career. It’s typically some kind of cross section of somebody’s passion, somebody’s expertise, and things they’re really good at.” But there’s no traditional career path to becoming an entrepreneur, and becoming a venture capitalist is even more challenging. Mike found his way to becoming both—and marrying the two. In fact, his entrepreneurial venture firm, Alumni Ventures Group, is disrupting the traditional VC industry.

Three Takeaways

Though he has launched and sold several businesses, Mike considers AVG to be the crown jewel of his career. In addition to sharing how he developed AVG and why he believes this business is about more than just helping successful people increase their wealth, Mike explains the following:
  1. Founders and funders have fascinating stories. Mike and his team meet with hundreds of entrepreneurs and professional investors on a monthly basis. These fascinating people are doing amazing things. This podcast gives AVG an opportunity to share their stories with investors and community members who have expressed an interest in going behind the scenes.
  2. AVG is a necessary disruption. Through research and reflection on his career experiences, Mike identified the problem that venture capital is a difficult asset class to access. He believed that more people would get involved with VC if offered a smart, simple way.
  3. Affinity groups do better together. At the genesis of AVG, Mike felt that like-minded people could do better as a group than they could do individually in the VC asset class. As a Dartmouth grad living not too far from Hanover, he realized that many alma maters create naturally diverse yet strong affinity groups. He started Green D Ventures, a fund that enables Dartmouth alums to invest in the ventures of fellow alums, to test this theory.
If want to learn more about Alumni Ventures Group, venture capital. and remarkable innovators, subscribe to the Founders and Funders podcast. We look forward to starting this journey with you on board.

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Launch Angels is a Boston-based venture capital firm that helps alumni, universities, and other affinity groups create venture funds to support early stage companies that meet each fund’s unique investment goals.

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