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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Husker Venture Fund


A Student-Led Fund Providing Early Stage Capital to Startups

The Husker Venture Fund offers hands-on investment experience for students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln while providing funding for student- and faculty-led startups. The fund, built by alumni and university supporters, is managed by students under the supervision of the Center for Entrepreneurship, the University of Nebraska Foundation and Invest Nebraska.

The Student Experience

The Husker Venture Fund membership hierarchy is modeled to reflect common venture capital firm structures. Students may join as associates and move their way up to managing directors of the fund.

Students will participate in a multi-week bootcamp to learn the following:

  • Sourcing deals and completing due diligence
  • Making investment recommendations
  • Fundraising
  • Navigating term sheets and capitalization tables
  • Gaining industry knowledge and networking opportunities
  • Assisting portfolio companies

Upon completion of our curriculum, our members will directly manage the fund through the guidance of our investment counsel and the University. Members also have the opportunity to participate in national competitions, networking events, guest speaker meetings and more!

Interested in Becoming a Member?

Are you a UNL student looking for experience in venture capital? Apply to join other students for hands-on investment experience, networking opportunities and career growth!

Selection Criteria:
Membership is open to all students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Members will be selected based on quality of application and interview. Acceptance priority will go to students with venture capital, startup or unique academic experience.

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2022-23 Membership Applications Open in Fall 2022

students presenting a $25,000 check to the first HVF investment.

Husker Venture Fund Awards First Investment

Student-Owned Startup Sentinel Fertigation Receives $25,000

Members of the Husker Venture Fund (HVF), a student-led venture capital fund, awarded their debut investment of $25,000 to startup Sentinel Fertigation and its founder Jackson Stansell, ’21, a biological engineering Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. A partnership between the College of Business and Invest Nebraska, the HVF seeks to bridge the funding gap early-stage startups in Nebraska often experience.

Read Story

Funding Startups

Looking to fund your startup? Connect with our team to learn about funding opportunities, Nebraska resources and more!

Our Funding Criteria:

Investment Size: Selected companies may receive $20,000-$25,000 in capital.

Entrepreneurs: Awards will be given in the following order of priority:

  1. Current UNL students
  2. Current UNL faculty and alumni
  3. UNL intellectual property
  1. Other connections to UNL
  2. Nebraska-based companies
  3. Out of State companies

Investment Vehicle: Customary early-stage venture investments like Preferred Equity or Convertible Debt.

Industry Focus: Open to all industries, but companies must have scalable and innovative technology or software.

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Applications Accepted Anytime
Husker Venture Fund Founders Application

Our Partners

Kathy Farrell

Impacting multiple stakeholders, the Husker Venture Fund will fill a gap in Nebraska’s venture investment chain for early-stage startups, while at the same time, providing UNL students invaluable opportunities to engage with the venture capital process.

Dr. Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business

Support Our Fund

Help support the academic, professional and administrative activities of the Husker Venture Fund.

Give Now

Find Husker Venture Fund on Social Media

Husker Venture Fund Leadership

Samuel Nelson

Dr. Sam Nelson
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship
Associate Professor of Practice in Management

Ateev Bhandari

Ateev Bhandari
Managing Director

Samuel Dezube

Samuel DeZube
Managing Director

Maria Heyen

Maria Heyen
Managing Director


Husker Venture Fund