Harvard Undergraduate Capital Partners
Harvard Undergraduate Capital Partners aims to make venture capital and entrepreneurship accessible to college students, university founders, and aspiring investors. HUCP does this by partnering closely with VC partners and startups through its diligence and sourcing arms, as well as its variety of external initiatives and events. HUCP values its community and the experience of its members most of all — the organization prides itself on its tight-knit and welcoming community.
How to Join
HUCP hosts a two-round application and interview process during the second or third week of the fall and spring semesters. The process kicks off with information sessions and mixers.
The initial application typically includes questions about why the applicant is excited to join HUCP and what the applicant can bring to the organization. HUCP values 'buy-in' to its mission and a strong passion for looking at and learning about startups.
After the initial written application, applicants are selected for a first round interview with an HUCP principal or a member of the management team. Interviews include fit questions as well as a low-stakes 'case' question that typically involves assessing a given startup.
Some applicants then pass on to the second round interview, which involves completing a diligence and sourcing deliverable assignment. This typically involves performing some sort of assessment on a startup or industry and finding some early stage startups in the Harvard ecosystem.
The diligence arm of HUCP performs 'due diligence' on startups and industries. What this typically involves is doing research and analysis work that assesses where a startup stands and whether it is worth investing in. Diligence teams are comprised of 3-5 analysts and associates led by a principal. Each team conducts diligence for a venture capital firm partner, and work closely with that firm's investment team to help inform on their investment decisions.
Diligence teams work quickly and explore a variety of industries and companies during the course of a semester. Deliverables that diligence teams might work on include building competitive landscapes, conducting customer calls, surveying the status of an industry, and assessing the value of a product.
The sourcing arm of HUCP works within the Boston startup ecosystem (focusing primarily on Harvard and MIT startups) to identify and recommend investment opportunities to HUCP's VC and angel partners. Sourcing members interview startup founders, communicate with partners, and build relationships with players throughout the Boston entrepreneurship community. HUCP's sourcing members include MIT students who work alongside Harvard students.
HUCP runs a variety of initiatives to help build and support the Harvard entrepreneurship community. These include its annual Innovation Fund program, where it provides non-equity funding to startups and nonprofits within the Harvard ecosystem, panel and speaker events featuring VC investors and entrepreneurs, partnerships with the iLab and Tech Transfer Office, and mentorship programs.
HUCP considers itself a flat organization in which every member's input and contribution is valued, and members can get involved in any of the initiatives HUCP is involved in. Each sourcing and diligence team consists of analysts and associates led by a Principal. The organization is run by a management team that includes Managing Directors for the various programs and initiatives that HUCP runs, led by two General Partners. Members are considered for promotion at the end of every semester.
The HUCP member experience includes launch and final parties, a variety of gatherings including study breaks and wine nights over the course of the semester, free meals, a sibfam program, and HUCP swag. Members can also borrow HUCP electric scooters!