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DePaul University invests $100K in alumna-founded media company

Visual Feeder receives first investment from Halperin Emerging Company Fund

​​​Yaxi Yang stands in front of a digital display of nature photos at the nature museum

Yaxi Yang’s (second from left) company, Visual Feeder, received the first investment from DePaul’s new Halperin Emerging Company Fund. Yang stands in front of one of Visual Feeder’s displays at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum with DePaul Coleman Center Executive Director Bruce Leech (far left), Emily Doyle, director of emerging company programs at Coleman, and John Crosson, who chairs the investment committee of the Halperin Fund. (Ioana Juravlea/DePaul University)
CHIC​AGO –– DePaul University made its first investment of $100,000 from the new Halperin Emerging Company Fund in Visual Feeder , an experiential media company. Founded by Yaxi Yang, a graduate of the Driehaus College of Business, and her brother Eddie Yang, Visual Feeder produces immersive activations and transforms vacant storefront windows into dynamic displays to create vibrant and engaging streetscapes, providing businesses with a new platform to engage audiences.

“I’m thrilled DePaul is investing in an innovative entrepreneur and alumna,” said DePaul President Robert L. Manuel. “This fund shows our deep commitment to Chicago and ability to drive economic growth in the city. This and future investments are an opportunity to support our student and alumni entrepreneurs and the city of Chicago, while simultaneously diversifying our university’s revenue streams.”

DePaul initiated the Halperin Emerging Company Fund to provide the capital to make equity investments in startups founded by students and alumni, as well as community members. A generous gift from the late Errol R. Halperin (BUS ’64, JD ’67) and his wife, Libby Halperin, created the initiative.

Yaxi Yang stands in front of a digital display of nature photos at the nature museum
Visual Feeder, co-founded by DePaul alumna Yaxi Yang, received the first investment from DePaul’s new Halperin Emerging Company Fund. Yang stands in front of one of Visual Feeder’s displays at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. (Ioana Juravlea/DePaul University)
Yaxi Yang says the seed money is a full-circle moment for her. “It highlights the power of the DePaul community and their commitment to empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs and changemakers,” Yaxi said. “This investment marks a valuable addition to our latest seed round, enabling us to pursue ambitious growth and expansion plans. With these new funds, we'll be investing in growing our team, focusing on specific areas of our business that will generate the highest returns and building a stronger foundation to achieve our 2023 goals.”

Founded in 2020, Visual Feeder’s mission is to create visual experiences through immersive activations. The company works with a diverse range of clients, including consumer brands, non-profit organizations, private institutions, and museums. The street-level window activations have gained significant traction through partnerships with leading real estate companies such as JLL, CBRE, and Cushman & Wakefield to transform underutilized spaces into dynamic displays.

“We are proud to see our work helping to revitalize underutilized spaces in communities and providing a new platform for brand campaigns and artwork to be displayed,” Yaxi Yang said. Visual Feeder’s displays are active on Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile, including the Hancock Building, and in Lincoln Park at 2380 N. Lincoln Ave, among many others. The company also collaborated with Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on an immersive photography exhibit of the Chicago region’s natural wonders.

Overseen by DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center , the Halperin Fund focuses on investing in ventures that show potential for growth and job creation. “The fund gives DePaul the opportunity to invest in incredible new ventures that will help businesses thrive and further connect us to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago,” says Emily Doyle, director of emerging company programs at the Coleman Center. “These investments will have a huge impact on our community and the potential returns will support the growth of future entrepreneurs for years to come. We are thrilled to invest in Visual Feeder as they continue to create beautiful and immersive digital experiences for brands and consumers.”

All potential investment deals are reviewed and approved by the Halperin Emerging Company Fund investment committee, chaired by John Crosson, an angel investor and Driehaus College of Business alumnus. “Visual Feeder checked all the boxes, from a stellar startup team to building a creative solution to company traction,” he said. “The committee is proud to support Visual Feeder on its mission to create interactive experiences for the future of brand marketing.”

DePaul community members interested in applying to the Halperin Emerging Company Fund can complete an application online .

Photos and video available upon request.

Yaxi Yang will speak at the Jarvis Innovation Center (1 E. Jackson Blvd., Concourse Level) next Tuesday, May 16, 3 - 4:30 p.m. At the event sponsored by the Jarvis Center and Push Studio, Yaxi will share her passion for merging technology and art. For more information and to reserve a spot, visit the Eventbrite page​

About DePaul University
DePaul University provides exceptional academics and real-world experiences to prepare students for a changing world. With nearly 21,000 students across more than 300 academic programs, DePaul has two campus locations in Chicago. Students richly benefit from the city’s many opportunities. In turn, DePaul is one of the forces that shapes Chicago’s future. The university was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community dedicated to following the ideals of St. Vincent de Paul. DePaul is among the nation’s top universities for diversity because of its long tradition of providing a high-quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds. DePaul is one of the largest private, nonprofit universities in the Midwest and one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation. Visit to learn more.


DePaul Media Relations:

Mary Hansen