A day in life of CF Analyst
By Creator Fund | August 1, 2022
What’s it like being a student investor at Creator Fund?
Creator Fund has a team of PhDs, master’s, and other students across 28 university campuses. Our student investor programme has been a unique launchpad for our alumni to found companies or join top tier VC funds.
Meet two members of our team, Leon from Queen’s University Belfast and Eve from the Royal College of Art.
How did you come to join Creator Fund?
Eve: I spent the final few months of my undergraduate Physics degree working towards commercialising my research project, developing a sensor for detecting pollutants in drinking water. I was stunned at the lack of support and infrastructure to help students through this process which drove me to consider working in a career aimed at addressing this. I was excited by the idea that scientists and innovators could pursue an alternative career path whilst still creating value from research. After speaking to a previous analyst at CF, I was immediately drawn to their unique focus on students.
Leon: I came to join CF in reverse… I pitched and won the CF entrepreneurial challenge in Northern Ireland then a few months later they flagged that they were hiring Student Analysts.
I was also coming from somewhat of a founder mindset and wasn’t sure how that would translate to being on the other side of the table but I found it to be a real asset as I grew into things. I should add I’ve been able to keep this up alongside working at CF and studying.
What has surprised you about joining Creator Fund?
Eve: I remember feeling excited, and also a little nervous when I joined Creator Fund and took my first call with a founder. Similarly, getting involved with my first due diligence process and diving into the technical and business details was also a big learning experience. Since then, I’ve really loved the level of agency you have over sourcing and navigating a deal through to the point of investment committee. I think this is one of the most valuable experiences and the team have always been willing to share their wealth of knowledge to support me through the process.
If you want to know all about the behind-the-scenes operations of how a start-up and venture capital fund runs, then Creator Fund is the best environment for this. I was totally surprised by the level of transparency shown at all levels at Creator Fund. There is a constant open dialogue between members of the student and central team about the strategy of the fund and how deals are made.
Leon: You’re constantly faced with deals from Web3 and AI to Life Sciences and Fintech, every opportunity is different and you take something away from each. I was also surprised how much autonomy or responsibility you have so quickly, within a few weeks you’re taking intros with founders and making calls on whether the deal is something the fund would be interested in.
I’ve really loved the level of agency you have over sourcing and navigating a deal through to the point of investment committee. ... I was totally surprised by the level of transparency shown at all levels at Creator Fund. There is a constant open dialogue between members of the student and central team about the strategy of the fund and how deals are made.
Why should someone join CF?
Leon: The team around you is awesome. Genuinely some of the brightest and best from across the UK. You find yourself going from a conversation about life sciences with a PHD in Aberdeen to attempting to understand Quantum Computing at a high level with guidance from the very humble Alex Beasley within the space of a few hours.
You have a real impact on funding early-stage companies. The responsibility of sourcing kicks in pretty quick and the confidence and trust you’re given from the get-go is brilliant.
Eve: Honestly the team has to be my top reason for joining Creator Fund (especially the Imperial team). Everyone is multidimensional in the way they collaborate and combine their deep technical expertise with business knowledge. If you want to know about Neuroscience, chat with Kat. If you’re excited by graph theory and optimisation, grab a coffee with Elizabeth. Being surrounded by a diverse group of PhD students and other types of founders gives you a real perspective and enhances your understanding of a space. It’s great to work closely with such a talented and hardworking group of individuals, and while there is always a bit of healthy conflict with decisions it’s ultimately incredibly fun!
And lastly, Creator Fund student investors take a break over the summer. What have you been up to?
Eve: So, actually, throughout my time at Creator Fund, I found myself being infinitely curious about the world of quantum start-ups whenever we were analysing a quantum deal. I hadn’t massively known a lot about this area, but we were discovering deals that ranged from applications in quantum information theory to photonics and I remember being captivated by the potential these companies had. This absolutely influenced my decision to explore the area of quantum computing further. So naturally, I joined Riverlane — a start-up building the operating system for error-corrected quantum computing. Over the summer, I am working on developing automated calibration routines to enable scalable qubits. This also was the perfect opportunity to combine my knowledge in physics and design while working in a start-up.
Leon: I have a year out for placement so I’m working on my own start-up alongside spending time at one of our portfolio companies, Fairgen. The team are actually based out of Tel-Aviv so I’m working remotely from Belfast and should get the opportunity to travel over at some point.
They’re using synthetic data to tackle bias in AI decision-making across industries such as Banking, Insurance and Healthcare to name just a few. I’ve come on board to work on business development and marketing for the next 6 months then I’ll see where I go from there. It’s one of those opportunities I owe to my time at the Creator Fund for making the introduction and helping get things over the line.
I have a year out for placement so I’m working on my own start-up alongside spending time at one of our portfolio companies, Fairgen. The team are actually based out of Tel-Aviv so I’m working remotely from Belfast and should get the opportunity to travel over at some point.