Learning To Fly Ventures
UChicago's premier student-run venture capital group since 2017
Our mission is to elevate student founders, promote innovation, and cultivate a collaborative and inclusive culture of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago through funding, advisory, and network-building.
Our funding process is designed to fit the needs of our entrepreneurs. We work quickly, and can provide an investment in as short as by the end of the month!
Apply for LTF funding by filling out a short form. See our "Apply" page for more details.
Once we've received your application, you'll meet with two of our board members to learn more.
If the coffee chat goes well, your team be asked to present a formal pitch to the LTF board.
If your funding is approved, we'll ask you to fill out the relevant paperwork and check in with us again at a set date.
What We Fund
Your team has at least one founder that is a UChicago undergraduate.
Your team has limited access to other sources of venture capital.
Your team has not previously received any capital for the same idea.
Your project requires discrete sums of money to get off the ground.
Your project has what are judged to be feasible growth opportunities.
Your project will further the UChicago entrepreneurship community.
What We Don't Fund
Teams that are not looking to utilize funding in a lean manner.
Teams that do not have an imminent need for startup funding.
Teams that have entered the College New Venture Challenge.
Teams that are operating small businesses rather than startups.
Teams that want to hire other people to build the product for them.
Teams that do not clearly specify what the money is needed for.
APPLY FOR FUNDING
If you are a UChicago student with an idea, we would like to speak with you. We take pride in getting involved very early. If your project lines up with our investment criteria, you have a good chance of receiving funding.
How much funding does LTF typically give out?
Our funding criteria is based on the discretion of the board. That being said, our investment size generally ranges between $1,500 - $3,000 dollars.
Does LTF take equity in my startup?
We do not take equity. LTF provides individual students with a stipends through a personal W-9 form. Our goal is to promote entrepreneurship, not generate returns. Therefore, we offer the most founder-friendly terms possible.
Does my startup have to be incorporated for LTF to fund us?
No, in fact, most of the startups that come to us request the funding to incorporate. LTF can guide you through the process of establishing a corporation and provide you the financial support if having legal status is necessary for your business model.
Does LTF have a sector preference?
We are sector-agnostic. Many companies that we fund have traditionally been in the technology space, however we have invested in ideas across food, politics, exercise, social media, healthcare, and environmental activism.
Have LTF-funded startups gone on to do anything cool?
The startups we funded have done great things at UChicago and beyond. LTF-funded startups have won the College New Venture Challenge, gone through prestigious accelerators such as Y-Combinator, and received outside venture capital funding. See our portfolio page for a partial list of investments.