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

10:27 am by | 2 Comments

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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Arundhati Parmar

By Arundhati Parmar

Arundhati Parmar is the Medical Devices Reporter at MedCity News. She has covered medical technology since 2008 and specialized in business journalism since 2001. Parmar has three degrees from three continents - a Bachelor of Arts in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India; a Masters in English Literature from the University of Sydney, Australia and a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University in Chicago. She has sworn never to enter a classroom again.
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It is very encouraging to note the universities putting up front the financial instruments. Is the financial model primarily based on Equity Financing, Angel Funding or purely Venture Capital? What is the envisaged rate of capital return on the long haul?