Though startups from the Penn ecosystem already have a healthy supply of capital to go around, here’s a new national fund that looks to fund startups out of the Ivy League institution: newly-launched Contrary Capital.
The fund has student investors perched at 55 colleges across the country. In Philly, it’s starting out with two investors at Penn: Julia Taitz and Sanjula Weerawardhena. They’ll be responsible for the Philly area, which means they’ll also be on the lookout for startups from Temple, Drexel and beyond.
Princeton, N.J.-based founder Eric Tarczinsky told Technical.ly that while the fund is still being locked down, Contrary Capital is expected to deploy 30 to 35 investments in the $50,000 to $200,000 range over the next two years.
Tarczinsky, who prides himself on being frugal, told Forbes the fund came together after a country-wide road trip that took him to dozens of college campuses.
“We’re investing in deals that your typical venture fund isn’t doing,” Tarczinsky, 25, claims. “They’re almost viewed as a seed investment.”
Contrary Capital, the founder says, is aiming for a gap left behind by other venture firms in the academic space, and hopes to give not just students, but faculty and recent grads, a shot at the funding through its decentralized model.