Startup Craze: Alumni Write Checks for Entrepreneurs (Quartz)


Dartmouth is a poster child for a growing trend: developing a strong culture of entrepreneurship on college campuses, writes the website Quartz. This culture, says Quartz, “has developed there in the past 15 years, thanks to a not-for-profit investment fund started by John Ballard ’55, Thayer ’56, Tuck ’56, to fund companies founded by professors and students.”

The fund, writes Quartz, “is called Angeli Parvi, which means “small angels” in Latin. Fittingly, Ballard and his fellow investors put in only $109,000 to launch the first venture they backed—a biotech company started by a Dartmouth engineering professor. This company was sold to Merck & Co. for the not-so-small sum of $400 million in 2007. Angeli Parvi helped the same professor and one of his students, Errik Anderson ’00, start a second biotech company that year.”

Quartz writes that Anderson “credits Dartmouth and the support of alumni like Ballard with his successful career. Between 2007 and 2013, he founded five more biotech companies, and his first is now valued at over $1.4 billion. Despite—or because of—his success, Anderson has chosen to remain in Hanover, New Hampshire, to be close to Dartmouth, where he serves on the board of Angeli Parvi and acts as a mentor to students. He is a frequent visitor to the on-campus entrepreneurship center that he helped raise $4.5 million to build.”

Read the full story, published 11/3/15 by Quartz.

Ballard is one of the founding members of Angeli Parvi and a member of Thayer’s board of overseers.

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