Investing in innovation
Coming out of high school, Grand Forks native Greg Syrup was looking to move away from his hometown. A decade and two UND degrees later, Syrup continues to thrive in Grand Forks as a manager for the (701) Angel Fund.
Syrup is an enabler for innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2015, he established the (701) Angel Fund to serve the growing capital needs for startups in the Midwest.
“It’s kind of like the TV show ‘Shark Tank.’ It’s a lot of people with a lot of experience and the ability to help out others trying to do something meaningful,” Syrup said. “It’s about helping great entrepreneurs.”
Syrup graduated in 2012 from UND with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and in 2014 with an M.B.A.
I think it speaks to the close-knit community of UND's alumni network and how accessible they seem to be.
“I saw there were a lot of different events and groups where I could meet a lot of interesting people,” Syrup said. “Specifically, the Dakota Venture Group really set my experience apart from anywhere else I could have gone.”
The UND student-run venture capital investment fund DVG was established in 2006 as the first completely student-run fund of its kind in the United States.
“I learned countless things from this group. I learned a lot about the fundamentals of the industry of startups and investing,” he said. “This is a good opportunity to cut your teeth and get the basics out of the way and make those early mistakes, and then really excel when the opportunities come about.”
Being a strong networker also is vital. As both a student and professional, Syrup tapped into UND’s rich alumni family.
“I met a lot of people through different UND events, College of Business events, leadership summits, Olafson Ethics Symposium,” Syrup said. “I think it speaks to the close-knit community of UND’s alumni network and how accessible they seem to be.”
As an alum, Syrup remains connected to his UND roots. He mentors students and is an advisor for current DVG members. He is shaping the region’s next generation of entrepreneurs.
- Entrepreneurship, M.B.A.
- Grand Forks, N.D.
- Angel Fund manager