The Husker Venture Fund officially launched last fall with nearly $1 million in capital raised from businesses and individuals, many of them alumni of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL).
Much of the credit for the fund goes to Joe Petsick, who co-founded Omaha-based online auction company Proxibid, and more recently agreed to serve as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence in UNL’s College of Business. In this recent newspaper article, he said “a big part of his job was to look at the College of Business through an entrepreneurial lens and seek ways to get the Center for Entrepreneurship better connected to both the start-up and overall business communities.”
Petsick said he realized a UNL venture capital fund could solve two problems. It would provide needed capital for early stage companies that may not access it otherwise, and it would provide more opportunities for students to learn about how the venture capital process works.
The fund, which is structured as an evergreen fund, made its first-ever investment, $25,000 to Sentinel Fertigation, a company started by Jackson Stansell, who’s pursuing a doctorate in biological engineering at UNL.