Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Amazon donates $200K to U of Michigan philanthropic start-up fund

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: July 1st, 2020

Amazon is donating $200K to a University of Michigan (U-M) philanthropic fund aimed at supporting the commercialization of new technologies.

The Accelerate Blue Fund has now almost reached the halfway point of its initial $2 million goal. Amazon’s donation is the first corporate gift to the fund.

“The support from Amazon is significant because it demonstrates the interest of corporations in learning more about the incredible high-tech start-up companies spinning out of U-M’s research enterprise,” says Kelly Sexton, U-M’s associate vice president for research, technology transfer and innovation partnerships.

By the end of the year, the fund’s officials expect to start evaluating potential investments in university start-ups focused on a wide range of industries, such as cybersecurity, legal tech, mobility, artificial intelligence and climate technology. Investments will initially range between $25,000 and $250,000 per start-up. All investment returns will go back into Accelerate Blue to support start-ups in the future.

The long-term mission of the Accelerate Blue Fund is to support the attraction of business leadership, accelerate U-M start-ups to the marketplace, and shorten the gap between early stage investment and additional venture capital.

“We have a real opportunity to get impactful technologies into the world, diversifying our state’s economy in the process,” says Mike Psarouthakis, director of U-M Tech Transfer’s new venture group. “With these additional early-stage funds, we know that we’re going to increase the likelihood that more companies can remain in Michigan and thrive here.”

Source: Mirage News

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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