Local Angel Investor Group to Partner with NKU
Starting this summer, Connetic Ventures will collaborate with the Northern Kentucky University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) to help network and educate the budding talent brought forward by the NKU Haile/US Bank College of Business programs.
“The CIE continues to impress us both with the leadership and the students," said Meena Maddali, operating partner, Connetic Ventures. “The energy is exactly what our region needs to continue to be a leader in entrepreneurship, and Connetic would like to lead by example and continue to support these students in hopes others will do the same. We could not be happier with this partnership.”
Angel investors such as Connetic Ventures nurture new businesses and help create jobs in their communities. They do this by investing in startups and by participating as mentors and board members in the startups they fund. Universities also seek to drive economic development by providing learning experiences that help create a productive workforce and supporting faculty members’ research efforts that directly and indirectly impact the ecosystem.
The NKU Haile/US Bank College of Business, through the CIE, is an active participant in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as regional economic development initiatives. Through its programs such as the INKUBATOR and INKUREKA, the college supports the creation and growth of high-growth, high-potential ventures as well as lifestyle companies.
The angels who are part of Connetic Ventures are accredited investors, but investing is an optional aspect of the collaboration. Members will serve as adjunct professors and guest lecturers. They will help enhance the entrepreneurial education of NKU students by providing career advice and internship opportunities; they will also help with students’ business validation. The angel group will also work with the CIE on mentoring students; reviewing student proposals; and student and faculty research projects such as fundraising, investing, deal selection, and vetting.
“As an investor, it is very impressive to see two strong organizations like CIE and Connetic Ventures partner together,” said George Hagan, an investor with Connetic Ventures and a CIE advisory board member. “This partnership will continue to raise the bar for a results-oriented startup ecosystem. It will also allow for people involved in the ecosystem to consider various pivot points and to constantly learn new and better ways to produce a sustainable startup community. Due to the expertise and strength of the staff, this collaborative opportunity will lead to better job creators and a stronger economy. It is a testament to each group’s commitment to the greater good of the region.”
Dr. Rebecca Porterfield, dean of the Haile/US Bank College of Business, echoed those sentiments. “The Haile/US Bank College of Business considers the academic collaboration with Connetic Ventures as a truly innovative opportunity to provide students with access, insights, and guidance that greatly enhances their education and possibilities as future entrepreneurs,” she said. “Consistent with the vision of our College, this relationship provides the leading-edge direction that will sustain and support the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide economic development through the advancement of new business and future business leaders. We consider this collaboration a cornerstone in the overall engagement and impact of the College and its future.”
Staff report/Photo: NKU students (Facebook)