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By Students, For Students: Olin Entrepreneurs Launch Green Line Ventures

Six Olin, Babson and Wellesley students have launched Green Line Ventures (GLV), a student fund that, in partnership with 500 Startups managing partner Tim Chae, is designed to fund Babson, Olin and Wellesley (BOW) student and alumni-founded startups. Duncan Mazza ’22 and Pranavi Boyalakuntla ’22, the two Olin founding partners of GLV, are eager to work with their peers across the three college campuses to give fellow students a leg up earlier in their careers as entrepreneurs.

Pranavi Boyalakuntla ’22 and Duncan Mazza ’22, founding partners of GLV

Pranavi Boyalakuntla ’22 and Duncan Mazza '22 are the Olin founding partners of Green Line Ventures (GLV)

Both students have held leadership positions in Catalyst, Olin’s entrepreneurship club and incubator. Duncan and Pranavi are excited to be part of the founding effort to create an opportunity for students to reach beyond their own college entrepreneurship groups and connect with a wider community across three college campuses. While there are dedicated sources of funding for entrepreneurs from BOW schools – like Parcel B for Olin startups – there isn’t dedicated funding for BOW as a whole. “We saw an opportunity to meet an unfilled need,” says Navi.

Both Navi and Duncan have nurtured an entrepreneurial spirit that precedes their Olin days. Through an internship at the Dassault Systemes FABLAB in high school, Navi became more interested in technology innovation and entrepreneurship. Once Navi arrived at Olin, she noted that joining the Catalyst board as a first year and mentorship from Olin faculty further sparked her interest. Navi was further inspired when she joined previously 8-person startup, Promaxo, as an intern and watched it grow to 13 employees during her time there.

In the summer between sophomore and junior year of high school, Duncan attended his first business camp. His interest eventually grew to involvement with the competitive DECA high school program. He, too, joined Catalyst as a first year and sees the founding of GLV as another outlet to grow as an entrepreneur. “Why do you build something? How do you know it’s going to be successful?”, says Duncan. “Diving into these networks, creating connections and improving skills now, as a student, will help later when determining whether something is going to be a success.”

GLV has not made any investments yet; that is a phase that Duncan and Navi see coming in the spring. For now, they are focusing on growing the GLV network of current BOW students and recent alums and building more events that bring this community together and provide networking resources.

“We don’t want to only support startups that we ultimately decide to make an investment in as a large portion of the entrepreneurial spectrum does not fit into the traditional VC model” says Duncan. “Equally important to us at this stage is promoting entrepreneurship across BOW and building relationships with people. We want to be a resource that meets early financial and networking needs.”

Besides continuing to meet with BOW founders, GLV has plans to host multiple public events, including an ask-me-anything (AMA) event featuring Olin alumni, entrepreneur, and investor Maia Bittner and a pitch competition. “So far,” said Duncan, “a really great outcome of our work at GLV has been hosting events in collaboration with entrepreneurship groups across the different schools, like the event we co-hosted with Wellesley’s WeStart student group featuring Atari’s CEO in an AMA format, or the GLV and venture capital info session at an Olin SLAC event.”

“This is a student-run entity that has an overarching mission ‘to bridge the gap between the three schools by providing capital and resources for the next generation of student founders.’

We see this as a piece of the puzzle that brings us all together,” says Duncan.