Investment firm First Round Capital wants to track down the next Mark Zuckerberg. And where else should they look for next generation’s tech genius but today’s college campuses?
The early-stage venture capital firm poured $US50,000 into The Dorm Room Fund so that a hand-picked group of young entrepreneurs could root out and invest in the creative talent and big ideas coming from within their campuses. So far, the fund has made 27 total investments in four cities.
Ricky Berrin used to work at The Fancy, curating interesting products to sell on the site before becoming part of the recent class of Dorm Room Fund investors while he was also working on his company SalesBus. The company has just announced to Business Insider that The Dorm Room Fund has chosen SalesBus for its portfolio and awarded it $US20,000.
Now that DRF has invested in SalesBus, Berrin is the first former DRF Investment Team Member to become a DRF Portfolio CEO.
Berrin’s company, which he founded with Seth Murphy, is basically a teched-up version of Mary Kay: It encourages college students to become salespeople by helping them get started selling cool products, like robotic alarm clocks, Facebook-themed shot glasses, and USB drives shaped like poodles.
Students will be able to buy around $US100 worth of their favourite products at a time and then sell those products for about $US5 to $US15, with profit margins of 40% to 50%.
Not only is Berrin trying to create the next generation of salespeople, but he’s giving interesting companies a direct selling platform to get their products into the hands of the highly-valued college market. He sees it as a win-win, for the companies and college sales reps alike.
“Instead of stacking books in the library, or flipping burgers, you can get real sales experience,” Berrin told Business Insider.
SalesBus will be launching in the spring semester, and is beginning with a Campus Ambassador Program that will include the likes of Rutgers and NYU.