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The Fund

Established in 2021, the Bluestone Seed Fund is a donor-supported fund that invests in early-stage JMU-affiliated start-ups 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.

Businesses selected for investment will 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 who have graduated within the last five years.

The BSF provides hands-on learning opportunities in two ways:

  1. Student and Alumni Founders will pitch to the investment committee for seed funding, gain actionable feedback on their pitches, and receive mentoring/coaching opportunities from experts if selected.
  2. Student Venture Associates (SVAs) will select finalists through due diligence by recruiting and vetting initial applicants. SVAs will be privy to observing the investor pitches and the investment committee’s deliberation and selection process.

Apply here

Gewd Botanicals

malique-middleton-200x200.jpgBiology major Malique Middleton (’21) is a future dermatologist who creates skincare products that use simple, natural eco-friendly botanicals backed by science. Gewd Botanicals produces a range of 25 skincare products including face scrubs, moisturizers, oily washes, toners and hydrosols, infused black soaps, and other face products encompassing a full skin care regimen. Using only natural ingredients, Gewd Botanicals is gewd for the earth, gewd for your skin, and gewd for everyone. You can learn more about his entrepreneurial start at JMU here.

Maddy Ebbert Art & Design

maddy-ebbert-200x200.jpgMaddy Ebbert (’19), a graphic design major while at JMU, creates accessible everyday products in a sustainable manner. She is a co-owner of Mindful Market Clt, a storefront in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mindful Market Clt is an eco-conscious, women-owned retail shop offering a wide variety of refillable bulk products, gifts, home decor, art, housewares and more. She thoughtfully selects ethically made and sustainably sourced products so customers can easily make conscientious decisions with their money and contribute to a low-waste economy.

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