Students at the Kenan-Flagler Business School are getting some real world investment experience in private equity and real estate in both fund raising and investments.
Run exclusively by students, groups at the Center for Real Estate Development and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies are out to raise funds worth $3 million each. So far, the real estate group has pulled in $1.6 million, and the private equity fund has closed on $1 million. The funds will remain open until May.
A portion of the private equity fund has already been invested. The UNC students participated in the recent $20 million round closed by medical device startup TransEnterix. The firm is based in the Triangle.
The student fund managers consider deals with assistant from veteran fund managers.
"Students are using funds from real investors to make real investments resulting in real gains and losses," said Steve Jones, dean at Kenan-Flagler. "Gains and losses go to the limited partners of the funds as they would in any traditional fund investment. These student-run funds are not just educational exercises with money provided by donors or endowment funds."
The students identify and evaluate opportunities and then make investment decisions.
Among faculty helping with the program are Clay Hamner, the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies director, David Hartzell, the Center for Real Estate Development director, Stephen Cumbie, the executive director of the Center for Real Estate Development, and Randy Myer, a professor in entrepreneurship.
The student fund managers also will help select their successors to run the funds next year.