University Of Maryland Establishes $25 Million Dollar Maryland Momentum Fund For Startups
In 2012 the University System of Maryland set a goal of launching 300 startup companies within the system by 2020. They’ve already surpassed that goal with it’s incubators, research centers, labs and initiatives like The Shell. These efforts encompass the 12 public institutions in the university system. They have been one of the more progressive public university institutions when it comes to entrepreneurship and startups.
Now they’ve upped the ante by establishing the Maryland Momentum Fund for startups. The University of Maryland Diamond Back reports that the University System of Maryland has already pledged $10 million dollars of the fund. They are working with UM Ventures, The University of Maryland Baltimore County, and plan to raise money from other angel investors and local VCs to fill out the other $15 million dollars.
As in most situations, the University of Maryland has found that access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles to launching, and sustaining startup companies.
“What we found is access to investment capital is a key to a [startup’s] ultimate survival and sustainability,” Thomas Sadowski, the system’s vice chancellor of economic development said.
“The 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,” Sadowski added. “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 economy.”
Eligible 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.
Individual 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.
An external 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.
Qualified startups can apply now for funding through the Maryland Momentum Fund here.