Creating a University ROI Investment Fund to Derisk Early Stage Technologies - June 2, 2020

One of the biggest obstacles to a startup's advancement is lack of funding. Early-stage startups that emerge from universities often face two problems in this regard: 1) the overwhelming majority of funding for startups is not for early-stage companies, and 2) startup funding is largely concentrated in only a few metro areas. This has made it difficult for universities, and particularly those not located in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston and New York City, to advance their startups to a stage where they are ready for follow-on investment and the commercial market.

To overcome these obstacles, in 2018 the University of Notre Dame established the Notre Dame Pit Road Fund, a separate $22 million investment fund, with a University subsidiary acting as general partner with private limited partners, to derisk and accelerate its promising early-stage technologies and startup ideas toward commercial viability. 

In this webinar, we discuss the reasons behind the creation of the Notre Dame Pit Road Fund, how it is structured, learnings from its two years of existence, and how other institutions of higher education may be able to build something like it. 

This webinar features Bryan Ritchie, the Vice President and Cathy and John Martin Associate Provost for Innovation at Notre Dame and a member of the Pit Road Fund's investment committee, and Tom Crotty, a senior advisor at Battery Ventures and Notre Dame alumnus.