Support the Builders, Makers, and Creators
October 25, 2019 | Mike Collins
I believe the world needs more builders, makers, and creators. That’s not to run down the lawyers or investment bankers who make their contributions. But it’s the work of the builders, makers, and creators that will help the world take its next great leap forward.
When you least expect it, they’ll challenge us to see the world differently, uncovering new markets often hiding in plain site and disrupting old markets we’ve all come to take for granted. Their ambition and imagination will impact fields like healthcare, tech, and consumer products. We’ll all benefit from the output of their intellectual curiosity, so we need to invest in them.
10KE: Helping Young Adults Explore Entrepreneurial Careers
The AVG team is committed to helping cultivate the next generation of game-changers. That is why we created 10,000 Entrepreneurs, known as 10KE, a non-profit with a mission of helping young adults explore entrepreneurial careers.
Our first initiative was the 10KE Internship Grant. This program awarded selected college students $2,500 each to pursue their entrepreneurial passions doing summer work at a fast-growing company or funding their own startup.
10KE awarded 20 grants in the first year of our program, benefiting students all across the country from Massachusetts to California. Here are a few notable successes of our first cohort. They reported back on their results and rated their 10KE experience a 5 out of 5 across the board.
Greta Meyer is a Stanford Product Design Engineering major from Philadelphia who is trying to revolutionize the feminine hygiene market with Tempo Woman. “My cofounder and I went full time on our startup. My 10KE grant enabled us to be a lot more comfortable with expenses like patent filings early on when we still have no revenue or funding completed.”
Timi Dayo-Kayode is a rising senior at Tufts University majoring in Economics with a minor in Computer Science who is also building his startup, Worksense. “The 10KE grant was super helpful in significantly diminishing the financial implications of committing to Worksense over the summer.”
Madison Frye is an engineering student at Brown University who co-founded Kezari, a minimalist travel lifestyle brand, and is also the first employee at Koi Prosthetics, designing low-cost solutions for amputees. “10KE enabled me to work on Kezari, initiating new marketing campaigns including our brand ambassador program and developing new sales channels.”
Olly Cohen is a creative writing and computer science student at Washington University in St. Louis. He interned at Simulpass, a digital networking platform, where he was able to significantly build his developer skills. “Thanks to the 10KE internship grant, I was able to dedicate my undivided attention to learning new languages and programs without costing Simulpass money.”
Bri Makaric is the founder of BRITE bites, a probiotic snack bite company packed with superfood seeds, and majoring in Advertising Management at Michigan State. “The 10KE Grant was helpful as my company was able to fund inventory and work on developing new packaging, which is launching shortly.”
Our Future Can Use Your Help
Changing the game takes takes ambition, imagination, and curiosity, but it also takes funding. This year, we’re expanding our 10KE grant program to award up to 25 grants of $2,500 for individuals or $5,000 for teams.
Please share the news of the 10KE grant program with undergraduates and schools that might be interested. And if you’d like to support entrepreneurial students from all over the U.S., please donate to the 10KE program.
Mike Collins, Chief Executive Officer, Board Chairman, AVG
Mike has been involved in almost every facet of venturing, from angel investing to venture capital, new business and product launches, and innovation consulting. He is currently CEO of Alumni Ventures Group, the managing company for our funds, and launched AVG’s first alumni fund, Green D Ventures, where he oversaw the portfolio as Managing Partner and is now Managing Partner Emeritus. Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, including Kid Galaxy, Big Idea Group (partially owned by WPP), and RDM. He began his career at VC firm TA Associates. He holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard Business School.