What is Tower View Ventures' strategy?


Tower View Ventures follows a strategic model centered around harnessing school pride and alumni networks for investment purposes. The venture fund sets up dedicated small funds for different top schools, like Duke University, under brand names that invoke nostalgia and connection to the school, such as "Tower View," a recognizable term from Duke's campus. They focus on investing in startups led by school alumni.

Their strategy includes raising money for these funds through ads and calls targeted at alumni, with an emphasis on their connection to the school and its successful alumni history. Each fund, while modest in size (around $10-20 million per fund), charges typical venture capital fees of 2% for management and 20% for carry. This approach is scaled across multiple schools, creating numerous small, school-specific funds that collectively generate significant recurring revenue.

Although the model appears appealing due to its emotional pull and potential financial returns, the hosts noted some controversy regarding its ethics, particularly around how the venture fund uses the schools' branding and colors without formal permission, which gives it a somewhat deceptive appearance 1 .

Duke Alumni Ventures

Shaan and Sam discuss the shady but genius strategy of Tower View Ventures, a venture fund that raises money for alumni from top schools like Duke. They delve into the scheme and how it pulls on the heartstrings of school pride, while also exploring the success of alumni from their own alma maters.

My First Million

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