University of Minnesota
Office for Technology Commercialization

Office for Technology Commercialization homeOTC

About OTC

Venture Center

Group Meeting

The Venture Center works with entrepreneurs, researchers and investors to create new startup companies based on research at the University of Minnesota.

Since 2006, the U of M has launched 100 startup companies based on University technology, marking a milestone in the U’s efforts to assist faculty and staff in commercializing their inventions. Three out of four startups are based in Minnesota and 83 percent are still active today, well above the national average. In total, the companies have raised more than $219 million in investment capital.

See a complete list of U of M startup companies.

Service Offerings

The Venture Center teams up with University researchers, entrepreneurs and investors in services essential to the establishment and success of new companies, including:

  • Recruiting a management team and board of directors
  • Evaluating and assisting with business plans and executive summaries
  • Structuring and negotiating investment terms for a University license
  • Preparing presentations to investors
  • Introducing company founders to interested investors

Business Advisory Group

The Business Advisory Group helps the Venture Center find resources to launch U of M startups. A key part of its help is the recruitment of an outside founding executive. Other expectations include:

  • Active participation in bi-monthly meetings
  • Help finding business entrepreneurs, investors and CEOs
  • Making connections with other key stakeholders and industry experts
  • Assisting with advice (technical and market)
  • Corresponding outside of regularly scheduled meetings
  • Signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

CEO-in-Residence Program

The CEO-in-Residence program allows successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and business people to participate in reviewing intellectual property and leading new startups coming out of the University. The Venture Center is constantly on the lookout for leaders with a proven track record of running successful startups, expertise in raising money at an early stage and with experience evaluating technology-based startup opportunities.

Discovery Capital Investment Program

Discovery Capital is an innovative funding program that supports early-stage companies commercializing University of Minnesota technology. Eligible companies can secure up to three tranches of matching equity investment to help attract external capital and decrease the time it takes to bring promising innovations to market.

Investor Relationships

The Venture Center maintains active relationships with angel investors, venture capital firms, and private equity investors across all of these disciplines. If you are either an accredited investor or represent an investment group and have expertise in a particular field, there may be investment opportunities with Venture Center startups across a wide spectrum of industries and technologies.

Contact to learn more about any of these programs.

More Information

Startup Pipeline

Learn more about technologies being developed for startups by downloading the University's startup pipeline.

Available Technologies

Learn more about technologies available for licensing at the U of M.

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