Should universities get involved in venture capital?

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Friday, September 5, 2014

The StarTribune noted recently that the University of Minnesota is rethinking its venture capital strategy. Is this smart?

I don’t mean to single out one university, because I find similar thinking at some other universities. So it might be useful to bring this into the open and see if the above strategy makes sense. Essentially the StarTribune article noted the following key points.

Firstly, the original plan was for the University to start two larger venture capital funds to invest in new technologies on campus and around the U.S. but changed its mind for many reasons. The new fund will offer smaller amounts of early-stage financing to transfer university technologies to the market. But are even these small amounts of early-stage financing justified?

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