Fund Focused On Giving Students Real-World Investing Experience Closes $50M, Recruits 11 From Local Colleges

Led by a team of 11 students from campuses across the city, the University Growth Fund is looking to change the face of investing in Atlanta. 

The fund, which started on the West Coast and has offices in San Diego and Salt Lake City, chose to expand to Atlanta in 2020 to help expose students to the venture capital space. 

As an education-based private equity fund, University Growth Fund recruits local students to work alongside investors to better understand the landscape. Rakesh Nankani, the fund’s Atlanta-based principal, said that 11 students have been recruited and joined the team from Morehouse, Spelman, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Emory, and Gwinnett Technical College. 

Nankani relocated to Atlanta this summer to build out the fund’s office and program. To help recruit students, Nankani has focused on bringing case studies, guest speakers, founders, career coaching, and mock interviews to students on campuses across the city.



It feels like we are in the early innings of what will come to be a booming tech hub, and we’re excited to be a part of it,” Nankani told Hypepotamus. 

Students involved in the fund have already had the opportunity to invest in local tech talent. Nankani said that the fund joined in on Atlanta-based Carputty’s seed round this summer. 

Carputty is a FinTech startup focused on the automotive market. Co-founder Joshua Tatum is also a Georgia State alum. 

Outside of Atlanta, University Growth Fund has recently invested in startups in the creator economy, manufacturing, and logistics verticals. 

The UGF team recently closed a $50 million fund to invest and give students the opportunity to get a foot in the door of the investing world. Investors in the $50 million fund include Ally Financial Inc, Sallie Mae Bank, Lending Club, Arvest Bank, Continental Bank, ATHOS, and individual investors like Jeremy Andrus and Franklin McLarty.

The fund has $80 million in assets under management, according to a press statement.