RIT offers its students much more than just excellent education and a well-respected diploma; this week, Dr. James Watters, Senior Vice President of the University of Finance and Administration, visited RIT Croatia campuses in Dubrovnik and Zagreb to introduce the RIT Venture Fund to students and graduates. The fund was founded by the University a few years ago with a budget of $ 3.5 million and with the intention of investing in business ideas of RIT students, graduates and employees!
"We have clever, creative and capable students and graduates and we aim to support their start-up ideas and business projects that are important to the RIT community. Young people with whom we work are full of energy and it is wonderful to be with them and share their enthusiasm. It is a great pleasure to present this opportunity to students and graduates in Croatia because we monitor their successes and projects they work on. Depending on the potential, we are ready to invest up to $ 300,000 per project, "said Dr. Watters. The presentations took place on April 16th in Zagreb, at HUB385 premises, and on April 18th in Dubrovnik at DURA premises - institutions RIT Croatia fosters business cooperation with.
Supported projects come from a variety of industries, mostly tech industries - from gaming, blockchain technology, cyber security, robotics, machine learning ... There are currently 14 companies in the portfolio, including Bouxtie of the Croatian alum Renato Librić. The Fund acts as an Angel investor, i.e. in a way that financially helps the project and enters its ownership. All profits are used for further investment. Applications are received throughout the year, and projects go through a detailed analysis. Among other things, it is extremely important that the project has clear intellectual property rights and that market for product / service is big enough. Many projects are submitted by graduates and RIT community counts nearly 125,000 of graduates worldwide. The reason is simple: "Once they graduate, our students have the opportunity to experience a real business world, see where opportunities lie and then come back to us with ideas," says Dr. Watters, adding: "With financial investments, we often provide business consulting as well. We go through all the essential elements of the project, we advise what needs to be changed to make the project successful etc. " Providing business consultancy services is interesting for students as well. Actually, the plan is to expanding groups of people who can provide consultancy services by including professors and graduates at the local and global level.
The students and graduates of RIT Croatia were very happy to attend the presentation of the RIT Venture Fund. They were interested, with a multitude of business ideas on their minds, they were asking about applying and potential cooperation.
„Big thank you to Dr. Watters who presented RIT Venture Fund process and possibilities! This is yet another awesome opportunity available for our RIT network - I am very glad our educational institution recognizes relevant business ideas and provides much needed initial financial injection in order to bring these ideas to life." said Nina Mimica, President of the Alumni Association.
"RIT Venture Fund gives an additional dimension to studying at RIT Croatia. With the focus that students are adequately prepared for the labor market, in this way we help them turn their business ideas and plans into reality," added the President and Dean of RIT Croatia, Don Hudspeth.
You can see the video of Dr. Watter's presentation in Zagreb by clicking this LINK.
If you are interested in learning more about the RIT Venture Fund, visit www.rit.edu/venturefund
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