Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
May 11, 2023 | Tom Ballard

New fund launched to support U of Missouri student start-ups

At $5 million, it's the largest venture capital fund raised in Columbia to date. The initiative will be managed by Scale VC and includes an on-campus student accelerator.

The University of Missouri System (UM) and Shelter Insurance, which is headquartered in Columbia, MO, are the anchor investors in Fund II of Scale VC, a Missouri-based venture capital fund and studio investing monetary and social capital in early-stage tech founders.

According to this news release, the UM System is making a $1 million commitment to help remove roadblocks for student entrepreneurs and increase venture capital investments in early-stage companies.

“This is an opportunity for the university to foster economic development and create more jobs across Missouri and the Midwest,” said Michael Williams, Chair of the UM Board of Curators. “The partnership exposes our students to the expertise and connections of highly successful business partners and advisers, and it allows us to invest in their entrepreneurial careers after graduation.”

At $5 million, it is the largest venture capital fund raised in Columbia to date. Fund II also includes 34 limited partners. In addition to the investment, Scale VC’s partnership with the UM System includes an on-campus student accelerator sponsored and supported by Scale VC and EquipmentShare, a fast-growing and nationwide construction equipment rental and technology company also based in Columbia.

The student accelerator will focus on connecting students across all departments and universities of the UM System – University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Missouri University of Science and Technology – to forge innovative companies.

Scale VC was founded in 2021 by Willy and Jabbok Schlacks and Jai Malik.

To learn more, click here.

Like what you've read?

Forward to a friend!

Don’t Miss Out on the Southeast’s Latest Entrepreneurial, Business, & Tech News!

Sign-up to get the Teknovation Newsletter in your inbox each morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

No, thanks!