Rohan Shah (E ’19) has created one of the most buzzed–about startups at Penn and in the financial world. His venture, Slice Capital, will be unveiled in about a month.
After the launch, he and the team of 11, including co–founders Krish Dholakiya and Dan Stepanov plan to move operations to San Francisco. Having turned down a return offer from Facebook (despite sporting a branded backpack to the interview), he’s freed up his summer to oversee the launch.
Slice is an app founded on the principle that any person should have access to a “Slice” of an index fund or be able to easily invest into a private venture. Slice focuses on businesses that have not yet IPO’d, essentially enabling any non–accredited, small–scale investor to do what a venture capitalist does. There’s a minimum $100 investment.
The idea of funding new businesses with fewer and more engaged stakeholders caters to the target audience of younger, more tech–savvy investors. Another draw for younger people: investors don’t have to be accredited, which means that college–age kids can invest in the same funds that big venture capitalists support.
The idea has garnered serious traction since its conception in late 2014. Shah and his team earned a $25,000 investment from VC Peter Boyce, made finals at the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit and have been featured in countless news outlets.
The company’s tagline of “Investment Minus Wall Street” is sure to ruffle a few Wharton students’ feathers, but the idea of small–scale index investing caters to recent college graduates and young professionals amassing some disposable income, Slice’s target markets. It’s undeniable, though, that Shah and his team have made an impact on Penn’s startup culture and, perhaps down the line, the investing world. As they work through the legal process of preparing for launch, the team is hard at work. If the app takes off, he may have to take a semester away from Penn.
And with that, Shah walked off to spend two hours in New York City speaking to investors.