The Innovation Fund is a multi-million-dollar fund that invests in promising startups from an ecosystem that includes the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, and the Marine Biological Laboratory. The core mission of the Innovation Fund is to help researchers turn their innovations into ventures that advance cutting-edge technologies, generate significant financial returns, and create lasting impact for humankind.
This mission is accomplished in two ways.
- Investing in startups created by faculty, students, and staff in order to help them bridge the gap between basic research funding and commercial investment.
- Surrounding these startups with a community of support – including distinguished angel and venture capital investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs – to help move their projects forward.
The Innovation Fund is a venture-philanthropy fund, supported by alumni donations. One hundred percent of its returns are invested back into the Fund, ensuring that it remains an evergreen, permanent feature of the University of Chicago’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. To date, the Innovation Fund has invested $6 million in 56 startups.