Genesis brings students and alumni together to live out UT Austin’s mission statement: what starts here changes the world. Built on a proven Venture Capital model, alumni and students work side by side in a powerful, hands on partnership to find deals, conduct due diligence, and invest real money in real startups founded by their peers. Genesis is open to every student across UT Austin: all 50,000+ Undergraduate, Masters, and PhD students pursuing any degree are eligible to apply for funding or a role on the investment team. Through Genesis, students are enabled to start their companies, build prototypes, and experience learning both sides of the investment table. Because of Genesis, UT has a platform to attract and develop the best and brightest students around the world, and Austin has a powerful engine to drive economic development in Texas.
It starts with the application and a pitch to Genesis team members. It is completed after an intensive due diligence process. At any point in the timeline, the deal process can be stopped if the venture does not fit our investment criteria. Genesis reviews applications on a rolling basis, meaning students can apply anytime. . Reading the recommended articles found throughout our website will help you understand the process and might answer a few questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any active member or email us.
Our investments range from $500 to $15,000. Startups can engage Genesis for follow-on funding tranches after the initial funding. The value of Genesis for a startup starts before funding even happens and expands more once the company joins our portfolio and network.
No, we invest through non-dilutive grants. Our student-leadership team receives a return in the form of experience and impact. We use the follow-on-funding metric to evaluate our success, and some Genesis portfolio companies have gone on to raise 50 times what we originally funded. That means for every dollar Genesis invests, on average, 20 to 50 dollars will be invested after. See Genesis by the Numbers.
Venture capital firms at every stage don’t evaluate investment opportunities without full access to information. Understanding early-stage companies revolves around the traction behind your product and service. We also believe startups aren’t made from ideas, but execution - and we’ve seen our portfolio benefit from sharing and iterating on their ideas from their first pitch to their series A funding. For companies with very specific technology capabilities that create differentiated IP, know that our diligence process doesn’t require the disclosure of operating mechanisms that could put your intellectual property at risk. Genesis and other venture funds will not consider funding your startup without access to fully evaluate your startup. We do not sign NDAs.
Key signs that a founding team and venture are not ready for funding include:
- Consistently lack communication with Genesis team members
- Incomplete full applications
- Founders do not own or have a path to securing the core technology or intellectual property
- Team is not interested in joining the Genesis community
- A lack of personal investment (time or money) in the venture thus far
- An inability to articulate milestones effectively
- A lack of expertise in their industry or consideration for customer and market
- Demonstrated arrogance or dismissiveness, lack of coachability
Additionally, Genesis does not typically provide funding for the following items.
- Contractors or Outsourced Developers
- Big Lump Sums For Marketing Purposes
- Funding Requests Nonspecific to Venture Milestones
In any case, don't be shy – some of our most successful portfolio companies applied for funding multiple times before joining the portfolio. We love to see that kind of grit!
Yes. For each startup we defer, we provide insight on our decision and mark objectives to consider before reapplying. Several companies in our portfolio were initially rejected.
It is important for the founding team to build the product themselves. We highly recommend the team add a technical co-founder and not outsource development of the core product.