FAQs

The Most Common Questions from Our Investors

When we invest, we seek to do so alongside experienced, informed investors, including tested entrepreneurs and angel groups. Our scout network and deep connections at accelerators and incubators through our alumni funds enables this co-investment strategy.

That is not how this fund operates. You are investing in a portfolio fund of early stage deals. Most early stage founders want a limited group of trusted, well-known investor groups, and don’t have the bandwidth to deal with individual investors.   

Our fund has a full-time team of two portfolio professionals—a Managing Partner and a Principal or Vice President—with significant venture investing experience. This team is complemented by an Investment Committee, Advisory Board, and multiple Fellows who assist in finding deals, analyzing them, and researching the market.

When the fund has a liquidity event, we send distribution checks to investors as soon as the funds are available.

Venture capital is a high-risk, high-returns asset class and has consistently outperformed the S&P for the last 30 years. Sophisticated investors like endowments and wealthy family offices typically allocate 5-15% of their portfolio to venture. Since VC returns aren’t strongly correlated to the stock market and your VC investments can perform well when other asset classes don’t, it’s a smart way to diversify your portfolio.

Each fund has a full-time team of two or three investment professionals — a Managing Partner and a Principal — with strong entrepreneurial and investing experience. They are supplemented by an advisory Investment Committee, a large network of alumni, and the investment department at Alumni Ventures Group.

When a fund experiences a liquidity event, we send distribution checks as soon as the company sends us a check. We can usually process this transaction within a few days.

We have funds for alumni of these schools: Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Northwestern, Penn, Stanford, Wisconsin, and Yale.

Our Focused Funds are open to all accredited investors, no matter what school you went to.

The SEC defines an accredited investor as someone who (a) has earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, OR (b) has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence). Further details are available here.

AVG funds offer you a smart, simple way to invest in venture capital. We provide investors with diversified portfolios of venture investments and routinely co-invest with top VCs to access deals not available to most individuals. We also keep our investment minimum to $50K to make our funds accessible to a wide set of accredited investors (with a few exceptions).

We offer two flavors of funds: Diversified and Focused. Diversified Funds are a great way for new investors to receive a diverse portfolio of venture investments. Within our Diversified Funds, Alumni Funds are for alums of certain schools. For non-alumni, we have the Total Access Fund, which has a higher minimum and offers broad exposure to all of our deals. Our Focused Funds are open to all accredited investors and have a specific investment focus such as sector or stage. Investors in these funds also own a portfolio of deals.

Prior to AVG, venture capital was not broadly available to individuals. VC funds are not brokerage firms, and direct investing in VC funds typically requires very large investment minimums (~$10M), with less diversification than what we offer.

The AVG Total Access fund provides broad, index-like exposure to venture capital. Investors own a piece of every AVG investment. The minimum is $250K for this fund, and investors simply determine how much they’d like to put into each deal.

Yes. Our network of alumni and other VCs enables our co-investment strategy, and we regularly invest with top venture firms. Here are some firms we’ve invested alongside in the last year: Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Kleiner Perkins, Accel Partners, 500 Startups, Sequoia Capital, FundersClub, Y Combinator, General Catalyst Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Greylock Partners.

Our funds source deals through their own research, referrals by another AVG fund, our international community of supporters (over 125,000 and constantly growing), and collaborative relationships with professional VCs. Currently, we review about 30 – 35 deals for every one that we add to the portfolio.

Each fund starts with a broad funnel (30 – 50 investment opportunities per month per fund), allowing us to choose the best deals to invest in – if any. Normally, each fund selects 2-3 deals per month to take to the Investment Committee, who advises on deals, before the fund managers choose 1-2 to invest in. Key considerations: A lead investor with a good record in the space, team, market opportunity, moats, traction, attractive deal terms, and portfolio diversity for us.

Our fees are industry standard: a 2% annual management fee used to cover business costs each year of the 10-year life of the fund and 20% carry, which comes from profits (only applied after all of the original total investment has been returned to investors). There are no additional fees or expenses associated with investing through us. If you are investing via a trust or retirement vehicle, your account managers will likely charge you some fees for setting up and maintaining those accounts.

We offer a streamlined process and rapid funding, don’t take Board seats or negotiate terms, and can offer the connections and resources of our community when the company has a need.

Lead investors appreciate our involvement for several reasons: Our checks are helpful but not competitive, and we fund quickly if we decide to do a deal. We don’t dictate terms or take Board seats. Finally, we can help them by sharing deals and providing important contacts and relationships to the portfolio companies.

Our investment minimum for most Diversified and Focused Funds is $50K and the maximum is $1M. On rare occasions, the Managing Partner may make exceptions to those rules. Each fund is limited to 99 accredited investors, which allows us to keep within SEC regulations while still hitting our target fund size of about $8M-10M. Writing checks in the $100K-500K range per deal makes us big enough to matter to portfolio companies, but not threatening to traditional VCs.

Yes. We work with a third party who sets up an IRA on an investor’s behalf and manages all administration. Monies can be transferred without penalty or without jeopardizing tax-deferred status and then invested in an AVG fund “for the benefit of” the investor.

For most of our funds, the portfolio is selected for investors by our full-time investment team. Our Syndication program, on the other hand, does let investors opt into select deals—about 10% of the deals we do. We offer these opportunities when the fund does a deal and the company still has room for additional investment.

We provide a K-1 by March each year and complete portfolio valuation statements twice a year.

You can access information about your portfolio 24/7 via our secure, online investor portal. There you’ll find details about portfolio composition, valuation (present and historical), and your statements and tax docs.

Yes. Institutions and large investors can put a fixed amount in every deal we do through our Total Access Fund. Institutions or family offices can also participate in our Focused Funds that specialize on a sector or stage.

We make venture investing smart and simple. Our Total Access Fund provides simple, broad exposure to this attractive asset class, and the investment minimum of $250K is very small compared to alternatives. Focused Funds also provide smart further diversification and exposure to high-interest categories within VC.

Entrepreneurs appreciate our streamlined, responsive process. In as little as 2-6 weeks, we can move from initial conversation to investor, with little extra work on their part. In addition, we don’t dictate terms or take Board seats. We can also offer our extensive network connections and resources such as Calls to the Network (appeals to our community for assistance to a portfolio company) and Resource Connector (fellow alums and investors offering business services). In some cases, we also bring sibling funds into our deals, raising additional money in a month or less.

Considerations vary by fund. For our Alumni Funds, it’s important that there is a school connection (alum on your exectuive team, Board, or lead investor). Otherwise, we generally look for a strong lead investor with expertise in the sector, experienced team, market opportunity, moats, traction, attractive deal terms, and portfolio diversity for our funds.

Checks are generally from $100K-$500K, with the opportunity for up to $2M or more when several of our sibling AVG funds participate. Because our funds invest on roughly an annual basis, we also occasionally make follow-on investments through a later fund.

Submit your information on the Alumni Ventures Group entrepreneurs page.

We welcome supporters who are interested in our work. Our greatest source of investor prospects, deal leads, and expert referrals comes from our global network of 125,000 alumni supporters. To stay in touch, we invite you to subscribe to our newsletters, mobile app, and podcast.

The Venture Fellow Program is designed for distinguished young professionals who want an inside look at venture investing and entrepreneurial careers. In exchange for a modest weekly time commitment helping the funds do outreach and research deals, Fellows get a valuable experience and entry point into the exciting but hard-to-access VC profession. The work is remote and on your own schedule. For more about the program, go to the Alumni Ventures Group Venture Fellow Program page.

Yes, we have internships available. You can read more at the Alumni Ventures Group Interns page.

The Resource Connector is a self-service database of alumni and fund investors who have listed themselves or their businesses as resources for AVG entrepreneurs. Categories include Advisors/Mentors, IP Lawyers, Designers, Software Engineers, etc. Entrepreneurs can access the database, search for needed resources, and then reach out and start a conversation. The database is free and open to use by all alumni, undergrads, and fund investors. You can access the Resource Connector by navigating to the AVG Resources page.

We are developing the AVG University with introductory courses to VC. The courses will be free, open to all, and aimed at helping investors better understand the asset class.

We offer newsletters, mobile apps, podcasts, a VC University, a Resource Connector, and more. Please visit the AVG Resources page to learn more.


How to Invest with Us