Colloquium: Building bold academic spinouts with venture capital
Building bold academic spinouts with venture capital
Academia is one of the key engines of innovation, but before new knowledge and technologies can leave the lab and develop into products that make a tangible difference for people and the planet, two major transitions need to happen: scientific founders will have to develop into entrepreneurs, and the research project will have to develop into a commercially viable product.
One potential source of funding to finance the product development and growth of academic spinouts is venture capital - a high risk, hopefully high return asset class that provides capital in exchange for an equity stake in the company. However, venture capital is only suitable for a specific subset of companies with scalable business models and high growth potential.
In this colloquium we will cover the early days of starting and financing academic spinouts: from selecting the right co-founders and finding one's role within the company, to understanding what funding sources are available, how venture capital works as an industry and for which companies it is the right source of funding, and finally raising a pre-seed and seed round from private and professional investors.
BlueYard is a thesis driven venture firm that backs entrepreneurs decentralising markets and empowering humanity. We manage two $120m early stage funds, raised predominantly from US endowments and foundations, and we typically invest $2-3m tickets as a first check in to companies, preferably at seed or A stage. We're based in Berlin but invest globally.
We've invested in a wide variety of companies from liberating data and untangling software monopolies to decentralising financial markets, solving large planetary challenges or internet infrastructure enabling permissionless innovation.