The University of California has announced it will create a new investment fund, UC Ventures. The venture capital entity will have $250 million of university money to invest in UC startups. This investment model is unprecedented for UC, and it is raising some questions.
First, the goal of this new fund is to make money, according to UC Office of the President representative Dianne Klein. The University of California does need cash. Even with tuition increases and cut backs, the UC Office of the President predicts a budget shortfall of around $350 million by 2016.
Klein says the investment strategy is about more than money.
“We also hope that the fund will enrich the entrepreneurial culture of the university, it will continue to support basic research, and that it'll also enhance our technology commercialization,” Klein said.