Health IT

$20M seed fund and $50M national venture fund to be launched by University of Minnesota

Minnesota entrepreneurs and their counterparts across the nation, listen up.

Two new funds are expected to launch in July to help you survive the investment valley of death.

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler told an audience of healthcare entrepreneurs and investors Tuesday that the university will launch two funds next year, pending approval from the university’s board of regents. He was speaking at the Mid America Healthcare Venture Forum in Minneapolis.


One will be a $20 million seed fund that over 10 years will support novel ideas coming out of the university. A second $50 million fund is also being planned for a July launch and for that the University of Minnesota will seek additional private capital. Kaler declined to mention which venture capital firms the university is considering to partner with for the fund.

The venture fund, unlike the $20 million fund, will not be limited to university startups or even the state; it will be open to national entrepreneurs.

Both the funds will be led by Dr. Brian Herman, who was named the university’s new vice president of research recently.

Historically, the university has been a risk-averse institution, Kaler said, preferring to curl up into a ball like a bug in summer time.

“It’s time to unwind,” he said. “I think the board will see that it is a prudent investment from a financial sense and also sends a strong institutional message about the importance of entrepreneurship.”

[Photo Credit: Pile of Money from Big Stock Photo]

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