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22 June 2016

Maryland stages $25m fund

A $25m early-stage investment fund is to support spinouts of University System of Maryland.

Author: Mark Chatterley, reporter

University System of Maryland has approved a $25m venture capital vehicle aimed at the institution's spinouts and startups, named USM Early Stage Investment Fund.

The fund will also invest in companies based on intellectual property owned by the universities or companies located in the university's incubators and research parks.

The university has provided $10m for the fund, with the remainder set to be raised from VC funds, Maryland state government and foundations.

The fund follows on from a successful UM Ventures initiative dubbed MPowering the State, which was created as part of the partnership between University of Maryland, Baltimore and University of Maryland, College Park.

UM Ventures provided a total of $400,000 in equity and loans in five startups during the 2015 financial year. The five companies went on to attract a combined $17m in additional capital.

Gary Attman, chairman of the Committee on Economic Development and Technology Commercialization, said: "We think this will advance the creation of great companies in Maryland, and retain them in Maryland as both standout companies and employers.

“We think it is important for the university system to put our own money up and show how much we believe in these companies."

Robert Caret, chancellor of University System of Maryland, said: "This fund will play a critical role in advancing the success of start-up companies in our system and expanding economic development for our state."

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