H@H Ep 79: Xan Wood, current FTMBA student at the Haas School of Business talks to hosts Ameya Purandare and Marissa Maliwanag about tech, venture capital, private equity, and much more. In this episode, we explore the Berkeley entrepreneurship ecosystem, the need for a venture fund dedicated to Berkeley Entrepreneurs, the formation of Courtyard Ventures Fund 2, and many other things.
On Courtyard Ventures:
“Courtyard is a fund run by MBAs and Berkeley students to invest in startups from Berkeley. The genesis of that is that students are very close to companies. We are in the ecosystem. We are able to meet with people and also know Berkeley itself… It’s not just MBA, the undergraduate level, Ph.D. level there are amazing companies coming out of Berkeley”
On the entrepreneurial spirit in Berkeley:
“Berkeley is a hotbed of innovation. You can tell just by walking around the Berkeley campus, it’s a huge amount of entrepreneurship and general people trying to do different things. If you just look at the kinds of developments happening in this area of the world, like nuclear fusion or other things … It highlights that there’s just a huge amount of stuff happening here.”
On the need for a dedicated venture fund for Berkeley:
“I read a report by a Stanford professor on the number of unicorns created by Haas MBAs. I think we’ve got 1.4 in a thousand vs Harvard’s 1.6. Berkeley as a public school is relatively siloed, the budget of Berkely per student is $65000 per year vs $235000 at Harvard and $400000 at Stanford. So as students in this ecosystem, we can really play a role to create a lubricant and help generate and push the startups forward.”