EP 20: Dartmouth Alums Bring More Than Dollars to VC Deals

Laura Bordewieck Rippy | Managing Partner of Green D Ventures

Laura Bordewieck Rippy, Managing Partner of Green D Ventures, shares how Dartmouth alumni investors are bringing more than just money to venture-backed businesses.

Laura Rippy, Managing Partner at Green D

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Episode Summary

When Mike Collins, founder of Green D Ventures and parent company Alumni Ventures Group, began pooling capital from Dartmouth alums to invest in Dartmouth-connected businesses, the goal was to open access to a previously unavailable asset class while giving alums an avenue to “pay it forward.” Dartmouth entrepreneurs would receive funding from Dartmouth-educated investors, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem would be enhanced.

Now, with Green D well into raising its fifth fund, a new benefit has emerged.

“We literally have such a huge level of engagement with our alumni that sometimes we can change the trajectory of companies just by sending a newsletter,”according to Laura Bordewieck Rippy, Managing Partner of Green D Ventures. Each Green D fund includes a portfolio of 20 – 30 companies diversified across stage, sector, and geography. Over time, the value of the fund’s continuously growing community to the founders of those startups has become immense. Last year, for example, Green D shared news about a new investment that essentially doubled the pipeline of the company highlighted in the article.

This is not a unique situation. The Green D team has discovered that its network is so interested in fostering Dartmouth-connected businesses that supporters assist companies by making introductions, giving them visibility in their network, or becoming customers themselves — in addition to potentially becoming Green D investors.

The accelerator effect of the Green D and larger AVG network is becoming a key reason for founders to let the fund into their deals. Laura says this pioneering advantage is “something that the venture capital industry has never seen before.”  She explains more about how Green D is growing and disrupting VC in this podcast.

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Founders and Funders is a podcast where we discuss how entrepreneurs and investors work together to build great companies. Our guests — many of whom are connected with AVG as entrepreneurs, investors, managing partners, fellows, and more — are invited here to talk about the journey of building companies from incubation to early-stage investing and beyond.

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