Lessons from successful university investment funds
Given higher education’s role in generating the knowledge and supporting the scientific personnel that catalyze the innovative new technologies developed by high-growth startups, the nation’s colleges and universities are invaluable assets to regional innovation economies. Some universities have moved beyond the traditional R&D role to further support local innovation systems by launching in-house venture capital funds and investing directly into the high-tech startups that leverage university IP. In this session, we will learn from several university VCs that are capitalized with university money, take equity or provide convertible debt, focus on university IP and/or faculty, and are managed by a university team. We will hear about the lessons learned in starting such a fund, navigating the web of partnerships and priorities, how “success” is defined, and other relevant topics.
- Tony Armstrong, President & CEO, IU Ventures
- Bob Creeden, Managing Director, UVA LVG Seed Fund
- Mike Cassidy, Director, Emory Biomedical Catalyst; Executive Director, Emory Innovations, Inc. Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia