Technology developed through University of Virginia research discoveries has resulted in the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group using its Seed Fund to invest in three Charlottesville-based ventures: TypeZero Technologies Inc., TearSolutions Inc. and Mission Secure Inc.
“The fund has made significant progress in its first year closing three deals with UVA startups that have emerged from varying schools and departments across Grounds,” said Bob Creeden, managing director of the seed fund and new ventures at the Licensing & Ventures Group. “We believe each company has potential to make an impact in the market that aligns with the UVA Cornerstone Plan to drive the local and l-regional economy.”
TypeZero is a digital health company that is revolutionizing the management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. TearSolutions is a biotech company that created a synthetic form of a protein to target the cause of dry-eye disease. Mission Secure is a cyber-security company that created a platform to mitigate cyberattacks.
The Licensing & Ventures Group’s $10 million Seed Fund supports new ventures emerging from the University portfolio. Launched in 2016, it encourages entrepreneurship and offers UVA-affiliated startups the capital to advance opportunities that are often considered too early for investment by traditional sources.
The fund, which recently hired Carleen Bowers as an associate to help identify new ventures, will reinvest its gains to provide capital for additional opportunities. A committee of five UVA alumni who are leaders in early-stage investing and startup development oversee the fund.
Creeden launched an accompanying course at UVA’s Darden School of Business where students learn industry-proven practices as they assist with company evaluations. The pragmatic learning approach offers experience similar to the work of an associate at a traditional venture fund – conducting diligence and sitting in on pitches to the fund and the fund’s committee.
UVA students, faculty, staff and those who have completed Darden’s iLab program are eligible to receive funding through the UVA LVG Seed Fund, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. To learn more, visit lvg.virginia.edu.