LVG Seed Fund

LVG Seed Fund

SIF183 LVG Seed Fund

Project Manager: Melur K. (Ram) Ramasubramanian

The purpose of this award is to provide additional funds to the LVG Seed Fund established in 2016 to accelerate the commercialization of UVA research technologies.

Approved: Summer 2021

A description of the purpose of this program is forthcoming.

Project Dates: 10/1/2021 – 9/30/2029

Funding Awarded: $10,000,000

Executive Summary:

It is well-documented that funding for early-stage/seed opportunities is very difficult. The “Capital Gap” exists for many companies in their early stage of development but even more so for those technologies/companies being spun out of universities. University developed technologies are viewed by investors as not having been developed with a commercial focus and are therefore regarded as too high a risk and not ready for investment. While the “capital gap” is not new, the definition of the gap has changed as time and venture capital funds have grown in size. As venture funds have become larger, their business model does not allow them to invest at the seed stage thus leaving many of these companies without sources of funding. In the last fifteen years, angel groups have formed to assist in filling that gap, but many of them are small and seek companies that have some traction in the market.

Understanding this lack of funding, especially for technologies developed at universities, the UVA LVG Seed Fund was implemented in January 2016 to address this gap specifically focused on the innovative research at UVA.  

The Fund was formed with four objectives:

  • To accelerate translation of UVA technologies by launching new ventures based on UVA innovative research,
  • To fill the ongoing “capital gap” for UVA technologies that are considered too early or too small for investment by traditional commercial resources,
  • To attract external capital to these businesses, UVA and the local area by demonstrating institutional commitment,
  • To generate a return on investment that, with its Evergreen structure, would refresh the Fund over time and provide capital for additional UVA technologies.