The Seed Fund is a million-dollar fund intended to help students develop their entrepreneurial ventures. The Fund’s board, comprised entirely of students, decides how to allocate their $100,000 per semester budget free of faculty intervention. Students present their ideas to the Board and request investment money. The idea is that the students’ for-profit endeavors will repay the Seed Fund in one way or another. Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Yet from what I can tell, many Hampshire students are unaware of the Seed Fund, meaning that only a few actually take advantage of this opportunity. Folks have received tens of thousands of dollars to fund projects ranging from ICUHampy to Voyaj (a business that “connects travelers and hosts worldwide for authentic cultural exchange and brings back hospitality in the world”).
Where did the initial $1,000,000 investment to start the board come from? The fund’s website cites an anonymous donor. However, Hampshire’s website attributes the donation to Michael Vlock (F72), an investor and husband of Karen Pritzker (billionaire heiress of the Hyatt and Marmon hotel chains). Reportedly he donated after meeting a couple of promising Hampshire students. Interestingly enough, Hampshire places 6th on Forbes’ list of most entrepreneurial colleges, partly because of this donation and the projects funded with SEED money.
Hampshire’s website quotes Vlock: “[The Seed Fund] will be an extraordinary opportunity and learning experience… no students are more entrepreneurial than these who are naturally independent thinkers, and Hampshire has always attracted that kind of person.”
Anybody can apply for SEED money,! On the funding side, the board is currently accepting applications to become a member. Find out more or apply to be a part of the Seed Fund Board by Wednesday, March 9th @ sfihampshire.com