EAST LANSING — Michigan State University researchers seeking financial backing to commercialize an innovation now have a potential capital source available right on campus.
The MSU Foundation created two new funds that will make pre-seed and follow-on investments in startups and technologies spun out of university labs.
The $5 million from the foundation will go to an investment subsidiary, Red Cedar Ventures, that plans to direct investments toward an area that has been identified as a critical need in Michigan.
“We have been working hard to put together a campus-wide ecosystem for entrepreneurs that embraces all of the creative talents across the university,” MSU President Lou Anna Simon said in a statement. “Through Red Cedar Ventures, we can make sure the groundbreaking ideas created by Spartans reach those who need them most.”
The formation of Red Cedar ventures follows MSU Foundation’s investment in the last four years of $2 million in pre-seed funding for more than 20 companies. The new venture fund will continue to make new pre-seed investments, as well as provide follow-on funding for existing portfolio companies.
The MSU Foundation plans to create an advisory board consisting of venture capitalists from across the nation and student venture capital analysts from Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business.