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Leaders Series: Venture Capital-partnered Gap Fund Models

Featured Models: Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, illinoisVenture, Osage University Partners, Partners Innovation Fund


Overview Ideal For:
This 90-minute, interactive discussion with the Venture Panel will introduce you to four, university-focused venture firms with a history of active investment into the “gap”. These leaders discuss their investments, insights related to partnering with universities and other technology authorities, and how to structure your programs to attract outside investment. The event is prefaced with analysis from the recently released Mind the Gap 2012 report, an ongoing study of best practices in global gap funding programs. In addition to online access to the event, participants receive event materials/presentations, which you are encouraged to share with key stakeholders in your organization.
  • Current or aspiring university fund managers who look to partner with early-stage firms to “fund the gap”
  • Early stage investors, public, or private organizations looking for creative ways to work with universities
  • Policy-makers, professional organizations, and others interested in an emerging innovation practice
Panel has:
  • 80+ years of expertise in early stage and university technology
  • 50+ years spent directly managing gap funds
  • 300+ gap projects funded as grants or investments
  • $30M+ invested into the “gap”
  • Extensive experience in managing university gap investment as investors and academic professionals

 VC Panel  Topics

John Banta
CEO and Managing Director
illinoisVentures, LLC.
  • Fund overviews: Understand how these four funds operate and uniquely structure themselves to work with universities
  • Motivations and interests: Learn about the forces that dictate venture strategies. Understand their criteria in selecting university partners and what makes a deal “attractive”
  • Negotiation and setting expectations: Listen and have the opportunity to respond to how these experts assess risk and value in order to derive deal terms
  • Effective investor relations: Where to spend your resources (and where to stop wasting them) in structuring and presenting your technologies for outside investment
  • Developing faculty entrepreneurs: All faculty education programs should involve a session on venture-backed start-ups. Learn how to prepare faculty for their role in new companies
  • Creative and emerging approaches: Get an external assessment of university programs that seem to “get it” through specific examples of communication, deal positioning, campus programs, and deal term tactics that work
  • Success stories: Through stories of past deals, the speakers will share specific examples of opportunities that flourished and those that fell apart
  • Best-practices: The panel will be prefaced with some findings from the recently released Mind the Gap 2012 report, a study of 63 university-managed and partnered gap fund models from 40 organizations

Lou Berneman
Founding Partner
Osage University Partners

Bob Creeden
Founding Executive Director
Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network
Formerly Managing Partner at Partners Innovation Fund
Jacob Johnson (HOST)
Founder, innovosource
Author, Mind the Gap 


Event occurred 3.7.12

All events come with ongoing, open access to the materials and video online. You are encouraged to share this access with others in your organization.

Cost: $75/event or $175 for all three Leaders events.

innovosource Mind the Gap events are certified for CLP CE credits