University pumps funding into new tech startups

by Blair Emerson

Last week, the University of Minnesota announced plans to invest $350,000 in startup technology companies that originate on campus.

The University of Minnesota’s Discovery Capital Investment Program, which is a part of the Office of Technology Commercialization, aims to jump start University-developed technologies, according to a University statement.

The program is a result of downsizing University officials’ original plans for two venture capital funds worth $70 million, the Star Tribune reported.

Applicants are required to submit a business plan and a pitch.

Doug Johnson, founding director of OTC’s Venture Center, said the program’s board of advisors will begin reviewing applications as early as next week.

“We’re doing it right away,” he said, adding that the applicants include faculty members and students, some of whom already have established their companies.

Funding for the program came from royalties based off profits from prior University technology, he said.