Technical.ly Philly

Dec. 4, 2012 9:00 am

Firefly: Dorm Room Fund announces $20k investment in Penn undergrad startup

Hundreds of applications later, First Round Capital‘s student-run venture fund has made its first investment. The Dorm Room Fund [find our previous coverage here] will invest $20,000 in Firefly, the screen-sharing startup run by Penn undergrads Dan Shipper, Patrick Leahy and Justin Meltzer, it announced today. The Dorm Room Fund will be looking at anywhere from eight […]

Hundreds of applications later, First Round Capital‘s student-run venture fund has made its first investment. The Dorm Room Fund [find our previous coverage here] will invest $20,000 in Firefly, the screen-sharing startup run by Penn undergrads Dan Shipper, Patrick Leahy and Justin Meltzer, it announced today.

The Dorm Room Fund will be looking at anywhere from eight to ten pitches per month, said investment team member and Drexel undergrad Bradley Ericson (who you might remember from his now dormant 3SecondReceipts startup), and will ideally make two to three investments per month.

Apply for funding here.

The fund’s 11-member student investment team chose Firefly as its first portfolio company because of the simplicity of the product, Ericson said. He added that Shipper is a leader in the local tech scene [find our previous coverage of Shipper here].

The Firefly team, which also runs email marketing startup Airtime [find our previous coverage here] and works out of the First Round Capital space, has long been a champion of bootstrapping. When we asked Shipper why Firefly was taking investment right now, he said it was because the team believed in the Dorm Room Fund’s mission.

“This is money on our own terms,” he said, “and it’s something we believe in.”

Shipper is referring to the fact that the Dorm Room Fund reinforces the idea that dropping out of school is not the only way to run a successful startup, a topic on which he has previously written. The funding will allow the Firefly team more flexibility to try new things, Shipper said.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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