USM Launches $25 Million Maryland Momentum Fund to Back Start-Up Companies Formed from Campus Research
Adelphi, Md. (March 16, 2017) -- To increase new company creation
and commercialization of its leading-edge research, the University System of
Maryland (USM) is launching a $25 million early-stage investment fund to be
known as the Maryland Momentum Fund.
money-raising process for start-up companies typically is an uneven one.
Therefore, the Maryland Momentum Fund will concentrate on filling gaps in the
funding pipeline to push USM's most innovative ideas into the marketplace.
With a $10
million commitment from the USM already in place, the system is collaborating
with UM Ventures and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to reach
out to area venture capitalists and angel investors for an additional $15
million. UM Ventures is a joint initiative of the University of Maryland,
Baltimore (UMB) and University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) to
commercialize technologies and expand industry collaboration.
approaches the $25 million level, the Maryland Momentum Fund will leverage this
financial support to achieve several objectives:
● Accelerate the success and profitability
of USM start-ups;
● Attract promising entrepreneurs and
innovators to USM institutions;
● Seize the opportunity to commercialize
valuable USM intellectual property;
● Develop long-term financial returns that
can be reinvested in future startups affiliated with the USM.
launch of the Maryland Momentum Fund is a critical step in advancing the
commercial viability of start-up companies formed through the innovative
research at USM institutions," said USM vice chancellor for economic
development J. Thomas Sadowski. "This fund will help our entrepreneurs address
funding gaps, access to other sources of investment capital and gain
marketplace footing, further enhancing the system's high impact on the Maryland
companies must be in Maryland. Eligible companies must also be based on
USM-owned intellectual property; founded by USM faculty, students, or alumni;
or in USM incubators, research parks, or RISE Zones.
"The USM is
a public higher education system of 12 institutions, and opportunities for
commercializing our research opportunities can originate from any USM
institution or from alumni connected to those campuses," Sadowski said. "The
endeavor to build on USM's success in new company creation brings more national
prestige to the system."
investments will range from $50,000 to $500,000 per company. Select investments
will require at least a one-to-one match by outside investors.
investment board, comprised of successful investors, will set policies, make
investment recommendations, and refer potential opportunities. The external
investment board will consist of six-to-eight leaders from the private sector,
including venture capitalists.
accelerated its efforts in technology commercialization during fiscal year (FY)
2014, when the USM Board of Regents approved the Policy on Investments and
Loans to Maryland‐based Businesses that License University Intellectual
Property (Policy No: VIII - 14.00). The policy helped establish investments and
loans totaling $400,000 in five start-ups during FY 2015 from UM Ventures.
Contact: Mike Lurie