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The Pioneer Venture Group

Milestones   |   Our Team   |   Contact Us

The Pioneer Venture Group is the University of Denver’s first venture capital fund run by a team of graduate students. Our members are students in the Daniels College of Business, Sturm College of Law, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science.

We invest in innovative seed-stage and pre-seed-stage start-ups across the Rocky Mountain region. Our unique position on a university campus allows us to leverage diverse knowledge sets gained from our different degree programs and life experiences. We also provide market access to our portfolio companies through our regional and campus networks.

Our Vision

The Pioneer Venture Group is focused on creating sophisticated investors, adding to the Colorado start-up landscape, and helping our portfolio companies succeed.

Fund summary

what we offer

education

We educate the next generation of investors through experiential learning.

COMMUNITY

Our group is working to become the central hub for University-led venture capital funds across the country. We connect entrepreneurs with the resources and connections they need to succeed.

talent

Through connections with Career Development Offices across the University of Denver, the Group connects talented students with portfolio companies

KEY MILESTONES ACCOMPLISHED TO DATE
  • Recruited an interdisciplinary student board of 18 graduate-level students
  • Reviewed 40 investments in early-stage companies within the Rocky Mountain Region
  • Developed and tested a comprehensive due diligence process
  • Built partnerships with local VC firms, angel groups, syndications and consortiums to increase the group’s deal flow

our team

student Board

Kate Kourlis

Managing Partner

Daniels College of Business
Burns School of Real Estate

Email

Daniel Armel

Lead Partner

Sturm College of Law

Email

Ben Garey

Lead Partner

Daniels College of Business

Email

Evans Hedges

Lead Partner

College of Natural Sciences
and Mathematics

Email

Nick Papanastssiou

Lead Partner

Daniels College of Business

Email

Kyle Schultz

Lead Partner

Reiman School of Finance

Email

Brendan Yonke

Lead Partner

Daniels College of Business

Email

Davis Kali

Daniels College of Business

Email

Ben Lovell

Sturm College of Law

Email

Bryan Martinez-Rahoe

Daniels College of Business

Email

Matt English

Daniels College of Business

Email

Blaine Rhoden

Sturm College of Law

Email

Chad Riley

Daniels College of Business

Email

Alexandra Feathers

Sturm College of Law

Email

Brandon Sukin

University of Denver Undergrad

Email

Kiersten Turner

Daniels College of Business

Email

Kai Velagapudi

Ritchie School of Engineering
and Computer Science

Email

Pano Koutrouvelis

Sturm College of Law

Email

Advisory Board

Annie Dunn

Senior Investment Manager
at Techstars

Carly Abrahamson

Principal, General Counsel
of Colorado Impact Fund

Becky Stifter

Associate Attorney at
Michael Best

Joshua Ross

Director of Entrepreneurship@DU

Michael Silverman

Founder and Managing Director at Samantha Brands Group

Kieran Edstrom

Associate Attorney at
Michael Best

Lauren Brown

Former Co-Managing Partner
Graduate, Daniels College of Business Executive MBA

Caroline Gash

Managing Director, DU Angels

FACULTY ADVISORS

Stacey Bowers

Professor of the Practice of
Law Sturm College of Law
Director, Corporate and
Commercial Law Program

JP Tremblay

Associate Teaching Professor
Reiman School of Finance
Co-director – Marsico
Investment Center

CONNECT WITH US ON LINKEDIN
Contact Us

Are you part of a student-run venture fund?

The Pioneer Venture Group facilitates a U.S. consortium of university supported, student-run venture capital funds. The consortium fosters the development of rising, impact driven venture capitalists. Affiliates support each other through shared best practices, industry roundtable discussions and identifying investment opportunities.

If you’re interested in joining the consortium, please submit a form to contact our coordinators.

Contact the Consortium Coordinators

Interested in mentoring the PVG?

We recognize the importance of experiential expertise. We hope to engage with investors, lawyers, experienced entrepreneurs and University of Denver alumni excited about getting involved to leverage their skills and insights.

To learn how to get involved, contact our community relations team.

Contact Our Community Relations Team

DU students

Our student board partners receive industry-applicable experience by managing relations with investors, entrepreneurs, and portfolio companies; organizing a consortium of student-run venture capital funds; performing due diligence; operating our social media accounts; and developing internal tools, policies, and procedures.

Interested in joining the PVG board? Fill out a quick inquiry form to add your name to the waitlist and receive more information about becoming a partner.

Complete Inquiry Form

Entrepreneurs and companies who want to pitch to the PVG

Interested in pitching to the Pioneer Venture Group? Fill out a quick form to get in contact with our deal flow team.

Contact our Deal Flow Team