Summary

Startup Formation gap funds assist in the formational steps of spin-outs — even prior to becoming a legal entity. This gap fund type could be seen as a startup-focused extension of proof of concept funding that further develops the business application of the technology through market research, product development, business development, management, space, and equipment to attract third party interest and capital

These funds are primarily administered by the technology transfer office and associated venture centers. External public-private arrangements to support business creation are administered by sponsoring agency or through close collaboration with the research institution

Startup Growth gap funds invest in scaling and growing established spin-outs. Research institutions have created, spun out, or partnered with seed funds and accelerators, both public and private, to fill this void in early stage startup capital and to directly invest in their own startups. Some institutions are even beginning to invest in non-institution startups.

Centrally managed Startup Growth gap funds are limited based on the required capital. To overcome this challenge and mitigate risk, research institutions may partner with existing early stage venture firms or corporate investor groups

Experts

  • Bob Creeden, Seed Fund, University of Virginia
  • Jason Pariso, Innovation Fund, University of Chicago

Additional Materials

Key Discussion Points

  • Raising and sustaining startup funds
  • Communicating the fund and sourcing startups
  • Working with faculty/student inventors throughout the process
  • Evaluating startups for funding
  • External collaboration with industry, entrepreneurs, and investors as funding sources and advisory support
  • Oversight and management of funded startups