AUSTIN, Texas, July 16, 2019 — Research Bridge Partners—a not-for-profit that enhances the societal and economic returns on America’s investment in research universities by bridging mid-continent university innovators and commercialization resources nationally—has launched a program-related investment (PRI) seed fund to invest in promising university spinouts.
Over the past five years, 75 percent of federal research funding has gone to institutions outside of California, Massachusetts and New York, while nearly 80 percent of venture investment went to companies located in those three states.
“Silicon Valley’s unique capabilities and culture are a powerful engine for new company creation and scaling, but it’s essential that the benefits of that engine not accrue only a handful of zip codes. That’s why I’m excited to work with Research Bridge Partners to enable researchers working at universities in the middle of the country to access commercialization ecosystems on the coasts in bringing their innovations to market,” said Reid Hoffman, Chairman of the Board of Research Bridge Partners.
“This seed fund will further our goal of bridging leading edge research labs in the mid-continent to the mature networks of capital, talent, and services based in coastal venture clusters,” said Isaac Barchas, CEO of Research Bridge Partners. “This complements our ongoing efforts to support and enable academic innovators in the middle of the country by funding foundational corporate activities to activate the downstream venture cycle.”
To identify exceptional researchers across a distributed geography, Research Bridge Partners has developed proprietary algorithms and statistical models in examining publicly available information it has compiled for more than 50,000 principal investigators nationwide.
Likewise, Research Bridge Partners’ PRI fund structure is designed for scale, prioritizing creating sound, investment-worthy startups over maximizing financial returns to the portfolio, consistent with the PRI nature of the fund.
Barchas added, “With the support of the fund’s limited partners and our network of service partners, including law firms and executive search firms with long track records of supporting scaling technology companies, we expect to significantly increase the impact of mid-continent university spin-outs.”
About Research Bridge Partners
Research Bridge Partners is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) that enhances the societal and economic returns on America’s investment in research universities by bridging mid-continent university innovators and commercialization resources nationally. Founded by Isaac Barchas and Reid Hoffman, the organization manages a seed fund that accepts only program-related investment from other charities in furthering its tax-exempt charitable, education and scientific purposes. In so doing, Research Bridge Partners mobilizes mission-focused resources to advance science in the public interest through strategic startup creation at mid-continent research universities.
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