People’s Champion finalist 2018: Collegiate Capital

The venture capital fund with a start-up mentality and a young entrepreneur leading the way - is this investment company your People's Champion?

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Start-up name: Collegiate Capital
Founder: Abbas Kazmi
Started in: 2016
Based in: London
Business description: Venture capital firm which acts as accelerator as well as incubator

Shortlisted category:

B2B Business of the Year 

The Collegiate Capital Story

A venture capital firm with a start-up mentality. That’s how Abbas Kazmi describes his burgeoning company, and when you look at Collegiate Capital’s unique approach to investment, it’s easy to see what he means.

Abbas explains that the company name is Latin for ‘companion’ and his mission is to become a partner in his investees’ success. Rather than writing a cheque and just sitting back, he and his team play the role of accelerator as well as investor. They offer a full range of specialist services, from legal to marketing, and can even help sole founders find partners through their network of contacts.

Abbas certainly brings an impressive track record to the job. He founded his own company at 16 and was a serial entrepreneur by the age of 24, when he founded Collegiate. Now he is on a mission to find fellow up-and-comers with a raging ambition to match his own – and the potential to go big.

The company focuses on pre-seed, seed and Series A stage companies, and also invests in disruptive ideas erupting from the academic world – which might also explain the choice of name.

To guide these fledgling companies from initial conception to commercial roll-out, Kazmi has amassed a team of partners with more than 150 years’ experience. These experts are more than happy to impart their success.

Collegiate’s stable of start-ups are offered a plethora of workshops, covering a range of topics from expanding in Asia and the U.S. to partnering with major corporates. What’s more, the bulging contacts at the company’s disposal can provide the ideal conduit to overseas expansion.

Having established his eye-catching operating model, Abbas is brimming with ambition. He plans to invest $100m and is committed to finding the next big unicorn – a tech start-up that reaches a $1bn market cap. 

Why Collegiate Capital made our shortlist:

Abbas Kazmi’s own track record, the string of business successes he has masterminded at the age of just 26, is enough to warrant inclusion on its own.

But beyond this, we were inspired by his company’s burning ambition. Its commitment to being a peer, rather than an anonymous cash machine, has the potential to reinvent the VC world and make life easier for Britain’s bright young businesses.

Where to find out more about Collegiate Capital:

Twitter: @CollegiateHQ 

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