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M.B.A. program invests $50K in South Coast Angel Fund

Loyola press release - January 30, 2012

In a little more than a year, Loyola University New Orleans M.B.A. students have gone from pro-bono advisers to voting members of an organization that decides how and where to invest more than $3 million dollars in local startup companies.

Through a partnership with the South Coast Angel Fund, Loyola students enrolled in entrepreneurial classes provided support to the investors by evaluating presentations of prospective businesses and providing market, financial and legal analyses used in South Coast’s decision-making process. Last semester, the university took a big next step, investing $50,000 into the fund, which was created to utilize the capital, resources and expertise of its members to achieve returns from its investments in entrepreneurial and early-stage companies, primarily within Louisiana and the Gulf Coast community.

As an investor, Loyola gets a vote on where the fund’s money should be allocated, with the students acting as the university’s representatives. Any return on the investment would be returned to the College of Business.

“It’s a very unique experience that just doesn’t happen in other M.B.A. programs,” said fund managing director and Loyola graduate Clayton White ’78, M.B.A. ’93, J.D. ’07. “We started talking about how we could take it to the next level, and that’s when Loyola decided to become a member of the fund itself. The students have taken an even more active part in the decision-making process and now have a vote at the table.”

According to College of Business Dean William Locander, Ph.D., Loyola joins other prestigious universities, including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, Oxford University and Dartmouth College, in offering a private equity entrepreneurship class. However, it is rare for students to have an actual vote in where to invest millions of dollars.

“We think that investing in local startup companies is not only a smart, sound investment, but it provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience to our students,” Locander said. “There are very few M.B.A. students in the country that can tell future employers that they played an active, voting role in managing a multi-million-dollar investment fund.”

For more information, contact Matt Lambert in the Office of Public Affairs at mlambert@loyno.edu or 504-861-5448.