The recent decision by the University of California regents to establish a $250 million independent venture-capital fund to finance student- and faculty-based startups has the excited support of UC San Diego Extension dean Mary Walshok.
“This is yet another commitment by the University to be an active partner in the state’s continued economic growth and prosperity,” said Walshok. “It’s the entrepreneurial companies that create the most new jobs across the UC system and beyond.”
Walshok continued: “In the past decade, we’ve seen an expansion of Extension’s course offerings and enrollment along with the expansion of industry partnerships in research and innovation. This holds the promise of being very good news.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, the fund, called UC Ventures, is one of the largest of its kind among major research universities. More than 700 commercial startups have been formed based on UC-initiated research projects. According to the university, such startups have generated $5 billion in venture capital since 2005.
Recent examples of successful UC startups include Aragon (acquired by Johnson & Johnson in August 2013); Kite Pharma (IPO in June 2014); and San Diego-based Seragon (acquired by Genentech in July 2014).
UC regents emphasized that no tuition or state funding will be used.