Cover Photo Image

Grow your startup with an investment from the Bluestone Seed Fund, a donor backed, equity investment vehicle that invests in early-stage JMU-affiliated startups through a competitive pitch process. This provides JMU student and alumni business owners with real-world entrepreneurial experience while also providing hands-on venture investing experience for JMU students.

Startups selected for investment will typically receive $5,000 in exchange for a 5 percent equity stake in their startup and tailored advice from experts. Applications are open to currently enrolled JMU students and JMU alumni.

The Bluestone Seed Fund enhances JMU students education experience in two ways:

  1. Student Entrepreneurs pitch to an Investment Committee comprised of JMU alumni, faculty, and local professionals. For students, the typical investment is $5000 for a 5% common stock equity stake in the company. However, students are encouraged to seek more or additional funding and negotiate a higher valuation if justifiable.
  2. Student Venture Associates (SVAs) experience the venture funding process through the investor perspective, helping with deal flow, conducting due diligence, providing feedback on practice pitches, engaging in the deliberation process, and managing the portfolio of investments.

Portfolio Companies

2023 Investments
Umbral Edge Games
  • Strategy board and card game development company
  • Ethan Howard, current Engineering student
Shorty's Food Truck
  • Food truck that focuses on efficiency and automated processes
  • Jacob Mennes, current Engineering student
  • The ultimate social planning platform designed to make your life easier, more enjoyable, and highly personalized
  • Rich Fortune, Economics (’20)
Admirality Consulting, LLC



  • Research and development, assessment, program evaluation and strategic planning
  • John W. Lee, current College of Business Ph.D. student
2022 Investments
Maddy Ebbert Art & Design


  • Sustainable home decor, goods & apparel
  • Maddy Ebbert, Graphic Design (’19)
  • First gig marketplace designed specifically for teenagers
  • Jewel Hurt, Political Science (’19)
360 Timber Services
  • End-to-end tree care, removal and wood reclamation service company
  • Ian Stasko, current Business Management student
2021 Investments
Gewd Botanicals
  • Simple and natural skin care
  • Malique Middleton, Biology (’21); current student in VCU's Product Innovation master’s program
  • Ergonomic trash can company designed with accessibility in mind
  • CJ Dorr, Economics (’21)
Tow Ninja
  • Reducing stress for stakeholders related to their automotive vehicles
  • Jack Oppenheim, History (’22); Master’s degree in Product Innovation and Design Thinking, VCU ('23)
  • Sensor-enabled beverage inventory management system
  • Brett Danielson, Management (’18) and Hunter Markle, Management (’18)
  • Not your average locker company – allow college students to rent whatever they want, whenever they want
  • Griffin Harrington, Media Arts and Design (’15) and Page Wood, Media Arts and Design (’12)

Back to Top