Fund Structure and Governance
We are operating under an Investment Club structure. This is a unique entity that allows us to obtain investments from multiple LPs who share a similar background (i.e., are "members of a club"). In our case, students and alumni of The University of Chicago Booth School of Business can invest as LPs and share in the decision making process.
To aid this decision making, we have a team of CB Capital Fellows who do the traditional work associated with the GPs, Principals, Associates, and Analysts, including sourcing, discovery and diligence gathering, and drafting the investment memos. However, the final investment decision is taken by a vote among the LPs, and not by the Fellows. This is the key to the IC structure and provides greater risk management to the LPs.
Preparatory Work and Thesis
We conducted a detailed set of interviews with prospective investors:
Learning why they would / would not invest
Fielding suggestions on how to improve the fund's impact
Outline investment pipeline best practices
We also consulted leading investors, entrepreneurs, and professors for advice on structuring the fund and delivering maximum value to the community.
A fund is only as strong as its partners. We are honored to work with First Republic Bank. They have prior experience working on similar investment clubs and directly with universities. This experience has taught us not only how structure the fund effectively, but also how to manage and meet all our banking requirements.
If you are interested in reaching out to First Republic Bank, please let us know - we would be happy to provide an introduction.
Recruiting a Team
Our Founders started with a small team of Chicago Booth students that shared their lofty vision. From a team of 4 initially, we have expanded to bring in expertise from multiple dimensions. Our Fellows are former founders, VC investors, PE investors, consultants, and bankers.
There were three primary elements we were looking for in prospective team members:
Knowledge and expertise in investing, entrepreneurship, or related fields - a diversity of experiences
Enthusiasm to learn and continue in investing and/or entrepreneurship
A foundation of pride in Chicago Booth's culture and community and a pay-it-forward mentality
We solicited applications from interested Booth students and, through a rigorous set of interviews, identified the first set of Fellows. This process will be repeated year after year.
Before the formal fundraise, we reached out to current Booth students to understand their intent to invest (non-binding). We then set restrictions on minimum cheque size and solicited further opinions from Booth students, faculty, and staff.
We had an overwhelmingly positive response that enforced our belief that we were tapping into an unmet need. We conducted a few webinars with prospective investors to share more details and address additional queries.
Once complete, we initiated the formal fundraise.
Accounting & Fund Management
We have the privilege of working with a powerhouse partner for our fund management.
Carta has been a pillar of support, bringing forward financial, operational, and legal expertise to help us run the fund seamlessly. They have prior experience working with Investment Clubs and universities. Their guidance has been very helpful to us as we set up and launched the fund.
If you are interested in reaching out to Carta, please let us know - we would be happy to connect you.