Harvard Gets Its First VC Firm: The Experiment Fund

As just about everyone should know by now, the seeds of what grew into Facebook were planted at Harvard. Might there be a bunch of mini-Zucks lurking in the dorms of Cambridge? If so, a new venture capital firm — the first housed right on the Harvard campus — wants to find them.

Dubbed The Experiment Fund, the firm describes itself as “a bridge between America’s oldest universities and storied venture capital firms.” Backed by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the firm is made up of Hugo Van Vurren, NEA co-head Patrick Chung, and NEA General Partner Harry Weller — all of whom have a degree of some form from the school.

When I say it’s “right on the Harvard campus”, I’m not kidding — it’s going to be based out of 33 Oxford Street, which is Harvard’s School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences. It’s a bit more than a stone’s throw from Harvard Yard. With that said, the fund operates with complete independence from the university.

And if you’re not a Harvard student? Don’t sweat it too much. The fund says they’re open to anyone, “regardless of university affilation, nationality, age, or prior experience.” Being a Harvard student (or at least a Cambridge local) probably wouldn’t hurt, though.

While it seems the size of the fund isn’t set in stone yet (or at least, it wasn’t disclosed — I’ll look into it. Update: they’re not setting a cap at this point), the team says they expect to seed “several” companies with up to $250k each over the next two years.