Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Indiana U launches angel network, links up with Osage


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 4th, 2019

IU Ventures, the commercialization arm of Indiana University, is launching a new platform for its start-ups to connect with potential investors — particularly alumni investors. The school also announced a new relationship with Osage University Partners, a VC focused on university ventures.

The IU Angel Network will help university start-ups gain access to pre-seed, seed and Series A funding. Investors with an IU affiliation can join the network, which will connect them with a growing collective of successful IU alumni to exchange ideas and look over investment opportunities in pre-selected start-ups.

“The mission is to help provide early-stage capital to start-up companies with an IU affiliation, and to engage the IU alumni base and friends of the university to participate with their own capital — as well as their time, talents and expertise — in helping these new start-ups grow,” says Tedd Green, executive in residence at IU Ventures and head of the IU Angel Network.

According to Jane Martin, a retired venture capitalist and IU alumna, the kind of early-stage funding the new program aims to provide is often the hardest to get for start-ups. Martin says the IU Angel Network incentivizes investors to offer those funds.

“For angels, having an efficient and ongoing pipeline for prescreened deals at the very early stage creates new opportunities — especially when it’s combined with a professional network and the opportunity to partner with the vast resources of Indiana University,” says Martin

 The new program and others such as the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund are part of a broader effort by IU Ventures to boost innovation by connecting entrepreneurs, investors, donors and mentors in the university community.

Anthony T. Armstrong, president and CEO of IU Ventures, comments, “With the addition of the IU Angel Network, whether you want to donate or give of your time or invest in IU-affiliated start-ups, we have all of those options available through IU Ventures. We are providing many different ways for people to engage.”

Yet another arrow in the IU funding quiver was added just this week, when the school announced a new partnership between IU Ventures and Pennsylvania-based Osage University Partners (OUP). OUP invests in start-ups that develop technologies in partnership with top research institutions, and has already partnered with more than 100 academic institutions.

Teri Willey, manager of the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund and executive director of IU Ventures, said the partnership strengthens IU Ventures in several ways. “Osage University Partners’ focus is investing in companies founded by scientists, academics and students. Being an associate partner of OUP provides further resources to facilitate the success of our portfolio companies with OUP as a potential co-investor. This will help address the risk that a company won’t raise enough money to carry out its objectives or find the right type of funding,” Willey said. “Working with OUP also provides an opportunity to introduce another professional venture fund to the increasingly attractive investment landscape in Indiana.”

Kirsten Leute, senior vice president of university relations at OUP, said having a formal relationship with IU Ventures offers unique advantages. “Our partnership with IU Ventures marks OUP’s first direct relationship with a university venture fund,” Leute said. “We are pleased to add another institutional partnership in Indiana as the state cultivates an innovation hub for the Midwest.”

Sources: News at IU and News at IU

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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