By Teri Willey, executive director of IU Ventures and fund manager of Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund LLC
The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund launched in March 2018 as part of IU’s Bicentennial Plan. Specifically, we focus on the university’s priority to build a prosperous and innovative Indiana. As part of IU Ventures, we support IU-related entrepreneurs to bring their products and services to the public through new companies.
Our team and a dedicated investment committee received funding inquiries from more than 250 ventures led by IU faculty, students and alumni in 2019. We funded seven, leading to $3 million invested from the fund and more than $20 million invested by other organizations. It’s proven to be a successful model, as we saw the first company exit our portfolio this year: Doxly was acquired by Chicago-based Litera Microsystems in August.
When companies like Doxly exit our portfolio, they pay back the fund’s investment and more. This means we are an evergreen fund, which assures there will always be financial support for IU entrepreneurs who start new companies, regardless of the university’s other critical priorities. When company founders are successful, we succeed too.
Won’t you join us in this effort? The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund has a goal of raising $35 million from alumni and other university partners to add to our current resources. We are seeking founding donors. You can learn more about this opportunity and how to be a founding donor by contacting me or visiting our website.