university gap funding summit

Creating and Managing a University Startup Gap Fund

Recording and Event Materials Available Now!

Event Video Sample

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Bob Creeden

Managing Director, Seed Fund

University of Virginia

Jason Pariso

Manager, Innovation Fund

University of Chicago

Jacob Johnson

Founder, innovosource


Startup Formation gap funds assist in the formational steps of spin-outs — even prior to becoming a legal entity. This gap fund type could be seen as a startup-focused extension of proof of concept funding that further develops the business application of the technology through market research, product development, business development, management, space, and equipment to attract third party interest and capital

Startup Growth gap funds invest in scaling and growing established spin-outs. Research institutions have created, spun out, or partnered with seed funds and accelerators, both public and private, to fill this void in early stage startup capital and to directly invest in their own startups. Some institutions are even beginning to invest in non-institution startups.

In this session, we will hear from leading fund managers regarding their strategies for:

  • Raising and sustaining startup funds
  • Communicating the fund and sourcing startups
  • Working with faculty/student inventors throughout the process
  • Evaluating startups for funding/structuring deals
  • External collaboration with industry, entrepreneurs, and investors as funding sources and advisory support
  • Oversight and management of funded startups



Part 1: Analysis of 24 university startup funds from the Mind the Gap Report

Part 2: Detailed program reviews from U Chicago and U Virginia:

  • Background and initial raise and support strategies
  • Startup management, and investment sizes and structure
  • Promotion and communication of fund to campus and community
  • Identification of promising investments
  • Investment evaluation and decision-making process and tools
  • Startup development oversight
  • Startup support programs (advisory boards, accelerators, EIRs, mentorship, etc)
  • Measuring and realizing startup fund impact and ROI

Part 3: Fund Manager discussion to answer questions, to share lessons learned, and to forecast the future of university startup funds


  • Raised nearly $130M to to establish programs from university sources and public/private support
  • Turned $125M in direct investment into over $1.5B in leveraged capital from the government, corporations, angels, and venture capital
  • Developed a process to attract over 6,000 opportunities and ultimately evaluate and decide to fund 550 startups
  • Created support programs that have attracted hundreds of startup mentors and advisors into the process
  • Managed the use of funds toward startup milestones and development objectives like management, prototype development, space, marketing, and equipment
  • Supported state economic development and created over 1,000 jobs from funded spin-outs
  • Engaged over 10,000 faculty/student inventors and community members in the process

Or better yet, sign your entire organization up for the full summit at a deep discount

The Mind the Gap Web Summit is a practitioner-driven series for those interested in university-affiliated proof of concept and startup gap funding. Through interactive web-based exchanges and associated tools, we are offering this resource for new/tenured fund managers and stakeholders.

All events that have past have been fully recorded and archived for your use.

September 14th, 2016: Create and Manage a Proof of Concept Gap Fund 

November 16th, 2016: Create and Manage a Startup Investment Gap Fund

January 18th, 2017: Turn “Friends of the University” into Gap Fund Investors 

February 22nd, 2017: Secure and Sustain Gap Funding Support from Your State and Region

April 19th, 2017: Attract External Investors to Gap Funded POC Projects and Startups

June 7th, 2017: Capture and Report Results that Matter to Stakeholders

+ Included with Full Summit: Fund/Program Manager Meetings for Sharing, Networking, and Discussion

innovosource | 2016