The University of Mississippi student-led start-ups presented to the RVCF, each receiving grants and mentorships to assist in the development of their new business ventures. Of the six businesses there were three smart phone apps, Impster, Nimble Fashion, and Okay2Eat; one light, sound, and entertainment business, Vault Entertainment; a marketing start-up, Ault Wilson Marketing; and a drink cooler business, Polar Peak.
“It was awesome to see that they believed in my idea,” said Mike Davis, Chief Executive Officer of the start-up social media smart phone application, Impster set to launch at the beginning of 2016.
Davis and his business partner and Chief Marketing Office, Pierre Whiteside, pitched to the Rebel Venture Capital Fund and received $2,000 to fund their new smart phone application. Davis said receiving the grant from the RVCF made it feel like all his hard work had paid off. The Rebel venture capital Fund started in 2014 and has granted over $25,000 to Ole Miss students seeking to start their own businesses. As a non-profit entity, the RVCF doesn’t ask for the funds to be repaid but encourages the students to pay it forward in some way to the university.
“The Rebel Venture Capital Fund allows students to pursue their dreams operating in a real world environment with real money,” explained RVCF President and University of Mississippi alumnus, Bill Fry of American Securities. “We are doing something for students by giving grants and mentorships that they cannot do for themselves. We are helping them learn in a way that is very different from the traditional classroom. We are creating the future entrepreneurs in this country.”