Building viral marketplaces and raising funds with the Dorm Room Fund and the LaunchPad on April 6

We’re excited that the Dorm Room Fund is joining us for another exclusive LaunchPad Workshop on Tuesday, April 6 at 7 p.m.  The session is open to members of the LaunchPad community.  (Become a member by joining here.) The Dorm Room Fund (DRF) is a venture capital subsidiary that invests in student startups.  Joining us for this workshop will be Jason Brooke, Jarrod Barnes and Hillary Bush who are Investment Partners at Dorm Room Fund.  They will be discussing building viral marketing models for consumer-focused businesses + marketplaces, and also chatting with Syracuse startups who in the consumer-facing marketplace.  Zoom in here for the session.

The Syracuse LaunchPad recently deepened its partnership with the Dorm Room Fund to offer office hours and mentoring for campus startups. 

Hillary Bush, is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund with a background in in international development, microfinance, online education, and co-living.  With experience at multiple high-growth startups, she has built products to support disenfranchised entrepreneurs at Kiva, led growth at MasterClass, and transformed internal operations at Bungalow. She is completing a MBA at NYU Stern as an Advancing Women in Business Scholar and Elizabeth Elting Fellow.

Bush’s key skills are user engagement, growth, UX, split (a/b) testing, prototyping, collaboration, systems architecture, subscription models, content strategy, and SEO.  She is an independent consultant on search engine optimization (SEO), growth, and conversion rate optimization (CRO), and helps companies scale their business through digital channels.  This includes search engine optimization (SEO), growth marketing, conversion rate optimization, and product strategy.

Some of her clients have included Adobe,, Outschool, MT Copeland and Bungalow.

She has also been engaged with select angel investments including: Imperfect Foods (Seed), Renewal Workshop (Seed), HomeCourt (Series A), Outlier (Series B).

Jason Brooke is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund and MBA Candidate at Chicago Booth, specializing in Entrepreneurship and Finance. Jason previously worked in corporate strategy as a Principal for Kaiser Associates’ Financial Services & Payments practice. At Kaiser, Jason specialized in growth strategy assessments such as bringing new products to market, improving competitiveness, and customer segmentation. This past summer, Jason supported the Product Marketing team at Kong, a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for full cycle API management. At Booth, he is a member of several professional clubs, including the Entrepreneurship & VC Club and the Fintech Club. Jason has a BA from Middlebury College (’13) and is passionate about ‘all things Fintech,’ soccer and skiing.

Jarrod Barnes is an Investment Partner at Dorm Room Fund and a doctoral student at the University of Illinois with a research focus in Learning Design and Technology.  A native of Columbus, Ohio, he is a former student-athlete and college football coach at the Ohio State University. From launching his own startup to working as an NFL front office employee, Jarrod has continually looked to challenge the status quo.  In addition to his role as an Investment Partner with the Dorm Room Fund, he is a Venture Fellow with Unshackled Ventures.  His interests in tech and venture capital consist of educational technology, the future of work, and sports tech.

The Dorm Room Fund will also provide mentoring this spring to the most promising student startups at the Syracuse LaunchPad, as well as consider seed funding as part of the Dorm Room Fund’s Campus Organization Network (DRFCON), backed by First Round Capital. First Round provides seed-stage funding and focuses on portfolio companies’ growth during their first 18 months and Fortune Magazine dubbed First Round as the most connected venture network in the Silicon Valley. In 2012, the firm launched and funded Dorm Room Fund for college startups. 

The DRF has an extensive and successful history providing pre-seed funding for college startups, investing $20,000 to help commercialize great ideas by campus innovators. 

Want to participate?  To get started, please join the LaunchPad if you are not already a member: