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1809 Capital, RedHawk Ventures reflect on collaboration during past year

A student-led investment fund and an alumni-led venture fund talk about their collaboration efforts.

Mark Richey and RedHawk Venture leaders at a meeting
Student Success Alumni Success

1809 Capital, RedHawk Ventures reflect on collaboration during past year

1809 Capital, an alumni-led financial return-focused investment platform, and RedHawk Ventures, the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship for Entrepreneurship’s student-led pre-seed and seed stage venture fund, co-hosted an event last month to showcase their collaboration with the Fisher Innovation College@Elm this past academic year.

RedHawk Ventures student leadership talked about their mission to cultivate promising venture capital talent while supporting early-stage founders within the Miami innovation ecosystem. They also highlighted the invaluable professional experience and operational guidance gained through their collaboration with 1809 Capital.

“This relationship is important for many different kinds of components of the robust ecosystem, from the building, the entrepreneurs in the Altman Institute, and having the curriculum that the Institute has. Miami as an institution is building leaders that are going off to work in amazing companies and have their own businesses,” RedHawk Ventures managing director Katherine McIntosh said. “Redhawk Ventures is the first step of taking that idea to a real business that ultimately generates revenue, and then can ultimately be led on to 1809 Capital where they have further venture backing and ultimately be working here at College at Elm.”

1809 Capital partner Mark Richey shared the Fund’s investment philosophy and how its related mission of alumni and student engagement aligns perfectly with the RedHawk partnership. The discussion delved into the potential of the "cross-stage model" as a support system for disruptive companies from pre-seed through growth stages.

“Miami is an incredible place and it's an incredible environment and it creates incredible ties and friendships and loyalties. It compels you to want to want to give back,” Richey said. “I think the other thing that makes the partnership work is enabling access -- access is the key word in all of this. Whether you're an alum, whether you're a student, whether you're a faculty member, you're trying to figure out how to learn more about whether there is a market opportunity for an idea.”

Chris Lawson, head of the Fisher Innovation College@Elm, highlighted the immense potential impact the partnership of all three entities holds for the Miami innovation community and beyond.

“It's meant to be a platform that translates the learning, the imaginations, the ambition of our students, faculty, and staff into impacts, both for our university, but even the larger community,” he said. “When you come here, you need to be innovative. You can be a startup, you can be an entrepreneur, or you can be a collaborator. Those are the titles that you need to hold.”

Tim R. Holcomb, chair of the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship, emphasized how this collaboration exemplifies the institute's "learning by doing" approach, while providing Miami-based founders with a dedicated investment platform to fuel the local ecosystem.

“Students are bringing their technical experience, finance, economics, engineering, interactive media studies, and emerging technology business design. And they bring that alongside entrepreneurship, learning how to apply in an application mode, in an interdisciplinary environment, those skills to actually do that,” Holcomb said. “And at the end of the day, that's what our employers and our corporate partners are looking for, graduates that are actually prepared to stand at the front of the room with the Magic Marker in their hand, dealing with a problem.”