Managed by the UGA Entrepreneurship Program, the Georgia Kickstart Fund aims to promote interconnectivity amongst the University of Georgia and the greater Athens community, to provide unique and stimulating educational experiences to the members of the fund, and help promote Athens and the University of Georgia as entrepreneurial hubs on a regional and national scale.
The Georgia Kickstart Fund was established in 2017 with the financial support of private donors, including a major gift from the SunTrust Foundation (now Truist Foundation).
In the six years the student board has screened applicants and awarded grants, it has distributed more than $160,232 to 49 student startups, said Garrett Williams (BBA ’22), who served as managing partner of the Kickstart Fund during its 2021-2022 funding year. Kickstart grants range from $500 to $10,000, with the average just over $3,000.
“We look for revenue potential or profit potential — just the core financials. We ask, ‘Could this business sustain the founders in a full-time job,’ ” Williams said about the fund’s investment criteria. “The second thing we look at is value creation. We ask, ‘Do they create value for a specific community or a certain set of stakeholders?’ And the third thing we look at is innovation. Are they providing any new proprietary production process, or are they solving a problem that a specific community or group of stakeholders is feeling?”
To read more about the Georgia Kickstart fund, please read here.