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A Summer Well Spent

This summer, the UVA LVG Seed Fund hosted two rising second-year Darden MBA interns, Grant Lischick and Russell Wilson. After three months of hard work, here's what they have to share about their experiences. 

"Venture Capital is an apprenticeship business. Knowing this made it clear that the summer between my first and second year at Darden needed to be a time for learning. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work directly with Bob Creeden and Carleen Bowers at the UVA LVG Seed Fund this summer. Bob and Carleen are impressive Venture Capitalists and I was eager to begin this experiential learning journey in May. I initially didn’t know what to expect, but it quickly became clear that this internship consisted of hands-on work.

I was immediately staffed on a live deal and found myself drafting investment committee materials in my first month. In a few short weeks, I was even helping to negotiate term sheets with entrepreneurs. Beyond this incredible live deal experience, Bob and Carleen also included the interns when working with a number of founders on developing business plans, fundraising roadmaps, deal milestones, and capital requirements. I was given the responsibility of conducting due diligence on numerous opportunities which not only taught me about the process, but it also helped me to develop an understanding of the key investment criteria that venture capital seek for in deals.

The experiential learning at the UVA LVG Seed Fund expedited my development as both an MBA student and as an investor. Darden and the UVA LVG Seed Fund have partnered to provide a class for MBA students called “Due Diligence in Seed Funds” which occurs throughout the entirety of the second year. I have applied and am excited at the prospect of continuing to learn in a practical environment with the UVA LVG Seed Fund. Darden students are lucky to have this amazing opportunity provided by the UVA LVG Seed Fund. I encourage other students to take advantage of such an influential resource."

- Grant Lischick 

"While it is hard to believe that the summer at the LVG Seed Fund is wrapping up, I am grateful for my time here. From the first day in May, Bob and Carleen entrusted me with substantial work and provided the opportunity to join the diligence process for potential investments. Their knowledge on a wide range of topics has been a valuable learning resource that dovetails and expands on the first year coursework at Darden. Both Bob and Carleen encourage an open dialogue and consideration of multiple viewpoints, something that I value after a year of learning via the case method.

I am interested in venture capital and entrepreneurship as part of my career path, and this summer offered a lot of exposure to the broader UVA and Charlottesville entrepreneurship community as well as valuable technical knowledge around venture capital deals. Whether listening to an investment pitch, meeting with the LVG Seed Fund advisory board, or getting coffee with entrepreneurs, the internship provided multiple ways to connect with UVA-related start-ups.

I could not ask for a better experiential learning environment. The LVG Seed Fund is a valuable resource for Darden students, and hopefully, many others in the future will have a similarly positive experience."

- Russ Wilson