Students Receive Over $2K in Fall 2018 RVCF Meeting

The Rebel Venture Capital Fund met in October for their semi-annual pitch reviews. Members of the non-profit grant committee heard pitches from seven Ole Miss student businesses.

The group of alumni and supporters of the University awarded $2,500 to the students in order to further their businesses. In addition to the grants, each student company was assigned a mentor from a comparable field of business from the RVCF to assist them with the development and growth of their ventures.

Four new companies and three previously-awarded companies pitched to the group on October 27. The four previously-awarded pitches received either additional funding or mentorships for the next calendar year, and two of the three new companies received new funding and mentors.

Custom jewelry designer, LaKia Taylor, has grown her business over the last 12 months with the help of mentors on the RVCF and asked for additional funds to further grow her customer base during the 2017 holiday period.

Hangaround, founded by David Flynn, a social platform for airports and pilots, has worked with the RVCF for one year and returned to renew his mentorship with the group. Flynn is working to partner with more regional airports near Oxford to grow his business, as well as start a blog to target new subscribers.

Austin Darnell founded Manaslu Athletics to offer new and more comfortable clothing options to men. Darnell has mostly sourced his company through crowdfunding and applied for assistance from the RVCF last year as well. He’s currently expanded his product line and designed new pieces to premiere in 2018.

Connecting students to local jobs, Rent-A-Reb has made great strides with the assistance of the RVCF over the last year. The founders, Haleigh Hurt and A.J. Brown, have recently updated their website and obtained necessary insurance to cover their operations.

Among the new pitches were Royal Sky Investments, a cryptocurrency hedge fund, and Flock Up, a social television viewing app. Both companies received assistance from the RVCF and are working to further develop their business plans.

For more information on the RVCF, contact Gus Ezcurra through the CIE at cie@bus.olemiss.edu.

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