Meet the Rebel Venture Fund
Rebel Venture Fund. Who are they? What do they do? And how do they impact me?
This article will help to answer all of your questions and give you some insight about the Rebel Venture Fund, one of the most active and involved funds and organizations at UNLV and in the Las Vegas tech and entrepreneurial community.
The Rebel Venture Fund is a venture capital fund that invests in startups. Simple enough right?
But what exactly is venture capital?
“Venture Capital” has been a common buzzword that you might have heard for quite some time now in the startup, tech, and entrepreneur community. A common definition is: a source of funding or investment, in a venture or company, that offers the possibility of profit or loss. Of course, while there is a risk component of investing in a new company, VCs tend to think that they will make a successful return on investment (ROI) by using their knowledge and business sense to find the next great team of passionate entrepreneurs with the next multi-million dollar idea.
But, what immediately comes to mind when you think of venture capital? People in suits sitting around a table crunching numbers and arguing about equity rights and return on capital?
Or maybe it is something more akin to Shark Tank; people in fancy business clothes sitting in front of a bright eyed, hopeful founder unknowingly about to be berated and chewed out about his business model and lack of a structured balance sheet.
While these are some views of what a VC firm does and what the media portrays, we are here to tell you that the Rebel Venture Fund is none of those!
Who we are
Unlike other VC funds, RVF is entirely student lead and run. Our members screen and evaluate potential companies and deals, perform due diligence, make investment recommendations, go through negotiations, and ultimately close deals.
Now, while some people would not entrust college students with $500,000 to do with as they want, Jeff Moskow saw an opportunity here for UNLV students.
Oftentimes as students, it is easy to get caught up and comfortable being in a classroom environment and in a “bubble”. One of the main goals of RVF is to give students real life venture capital and investing experiences.
While it is easy to just look at companies on a piece of paper, review their applications, documents, etc. The reality is that there is much more to a company and the people behind it. Our members are given opportunities to meet with and interact with real entrepreneurs, investors, and experienced individuals in the community.
What makes RVF special in that it gives students the opportunity to get real life experience as students, something that not everyone gets a chance to do so early on.
RVF draws its membership from graduate and undergraduate students who work closely with the RVF management board, which consists of local angel investors, attorneys, entrepreneurs, business executives and UNLV faculty who help to oversee the investment process. In addition to having strong ties and relationships with business leaders, investors, and professionals in the community, RVF is supported by the UNLV Center for Entrepreneurship.
So what do we invest in?
RVF makes investments in private high-growth companies. While we are focused on Las Vegas and Southern Nevada companies, we are open to outside locations.
Equal consideration will be given to all companies, including early-stage companies seeking seed funding, or late-stage opportunities in which RVF will seek to co-invest alongside institutional investors. The above notwithstanding, companies should have at least an MVP.
An MVP, or minimal viable product, is any product, which demonstrates the core competencies and functions of the company, and allows early adopters to see and utilize the product and its features. From the MVP, the company can determine if the product resonates with its users, gauges monetization efforts, and gives feedback on for improvement of future iterations.
For a more complete list of our criteria visit our website:
At the core, the Rebel Venture Fund invests in companies and startups, provides support for the community and our portfolio companies, and gives students real-world VC experiences.
What makes investment from RVF special?
Funding from RVF goes a lot farther than just what you see on paper. We consider all of our portfolio companies as partners. Partners that are helping each other succeed and grow, as well as helping to grow Las Vegas and its community. The Rebel Venture Fund provides resources for the companies we invest in. Because we are affiliated with UNLV, we have a plethora of resources at our disposal. From a student body of over 28,000 students, one of the most diverse campuses in the country, to its world class faculty and schools, RVF has a lot to offer to our portfolio companies.
Our mission has always been to support the Las Vegas community, better connect its people, and provide resources to entrepreneurs and the community.
RVF is committed to helping develop the community around us and make UNLV the center of this development.
Las Vegas has undergone lots of change in recent years, especially in the entrepreneurship, technology and small business communities. RVF’s goal is to support this growing community, help better connect the many resources in Nevada, and help it flourish and become a tech and entrepreneurship hub.
Interested? Here's how to get involved!
RVF is truly committed to supporting the Las Vegas tech and entrepreneurial community. We want to see Las Vegas become a great city that is not only known for its glitz, glamour, and entertainment, but also for its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.
We sincerely hope that if you share the same passion for the community as we do, please feel free to reach out to us and share your ideas. We want to serve our community and invest resources into the amazing people and companies here in Las Vegas. Come meet us and other like-minded and passionate people at our #VentureFriday events, and of course if you are looking for funding or know of someone who is, please tell them to apply on our website!
Overall, RVF has some of the brightest and passionate people at UNLV. As students, we are busy with school, jobs, families, etc. Despite this, our members are all very passionate about being a part of RVF and are some of the smartest and hardworking individuals at UNLV, looking to make a difference and help the Las Vegas community.
We also have an amazing board of local investors, entrepreneurs, angels and faculty, advising and helping us out. They all have so much knowledge and experience, and it is great to work alongside such great people and mentors.
As an entrepreneur or company here in Las Vegas, we invite you to get connected with us and have access to such a great resource and bright individuals right here in the city.
If you are a student, please feel free to apply for membership or reach out to us if you want to get connected.
We look forward to meeting you and working together to develop the Las Vegas community!
Let's connect and build great things,
Rebel Venture Fund
About the Author
Vincent Kwan is the Executive Director of the Rebel Venture Fund. He is currently a law school student at UNLV, William S. Boyd School of Law. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Political Economy from NYU Stern School of Business.
He has a passion for entrepreneurship and building great things, and is always looking for great ideas. He also loves all things food, exploring, and travelling the world.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RVF or UNLV. In addition, thoughts and opinions are subject to change and this article is intended to provide an opinion of the author at the time of writing this article. All data and information is for informational purposes only.