New program provides students with startup funds for businesses
Kyle De La Fuente
The Santa Clara
May 16, 2019
In June, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will give a select group of members in the Santa Clara community at least $10,000 to fund the start of their own for-profit businesses.
This selective funding will go toward the inaugural class of the Bronco Ventures Accelerator (BVA) program.
BVA is a new initiative designed to give students, faculty and alumni of Santa Clara the opportunity to start their own business.
The foundation of the BVA stems from a prior initiative at Santa Clara known as the California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE).
When CAPE was active, Santa Clara received funding from the state of California to provide the opportunity for anyone, not just members of the Santa Clara community, to potentially receive funding for their own for-profit start-ups.
Yet the state funding dried up and the program dissolved, consequently not giving members of the Santa Clara community a similar opportunity.
But the BVA program is here to change that, says Chris Norris, executive director of the CIE.
“Almost every university out there has some program like this,” Norris said. “The trick with these programs is to differentiate them.”
And that is exactly what Norris is trying to do.
Being at a Jesuit institution in the Silicon Valley, the BVA program seeks to focus on ventures that exemplify the Jesuit values of the university.
The BVA hopes to differentiate itself by including perspectives from the Ignatian Center, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship to educate selected participants on the importance of ethics and social impact in business.
While the program has only just started, plans for future growth and development of this initiative are already in the works.
There is potential for the BVA program to expand into a 26,000 square foot building purchased by the university near Schott Stadium.
Additionally, the BVA team is actively working to build a network of investors that will help advise selected teams over the course of the program.
“I’m very much of a believer that you can’t learn entrepreneurship in the classroom,” said Brian Dao, a freshman finance major who also has a passion for entrepreneurship. “Funding is generally very hard to get, so if Santa Clara is doing something with that, that’s very cool.”
Contact Kyle De La Funte at kdelafuente@ scu.edu or call (408) 554-4852.