The Rowan Innovation Venture Fund is now accepting applications for funding from researchers, entrepreneurs, business owners and others in South Jersey, including Rowan faculty, students and alumni as well as area residents.
The Glassboro-based Rowan University Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Rowan University – created the $5 million Fund in February 2014. Among its goals are to accelerate the growth of Rowan’s research initiatives by investing in University-generated technologies, intellectual property, inventions and businesses as well as to foster initiatives of South Jersey residents and businesses. The Fund will provide investments for early-stage businesses, research initiatives and technologies.
The Fund is the first undertaking of this magnitude at Rowan, which the State of New Jersey designated as its third public research institution in 2013. That designation furthers Rowan’s drive to increase its commercialization and technology development efforts, particularly in growth sectors such as engineering, medical education, health sciences and business. The Fund will foster Rowan’s research enterprise and also provide resources to attract entrepreneurial research faculty and encourage innovative ideas from inside and outside of the Rowan community.
“This Fund is a major step toward our University meeting its mission to conduct research that addresses real-world problems. The Fund also will support initiatives in a wide array of fields beyond science, medicine and technology. It is an investment in Rowan’s students, faculty and alumni in all disciplines and, equally important, in the region and its future,” said Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan University. “By opening this Fund to South Jersey residents and businesses, we in a very concrete way address one of Rowan’s overarching goals: to be a catalyst for economic development in South Jersey.”
The Fund is designed to support early-stage businesses, research initiatives and technologies that individuals and their families and friends already may have funded to a limited extent.
Said Dr. Kenneth Blank, senior vice president for Health Sciences at Rowan, “The Foundation’s generosity will impact individuals, businesses and the economy of South Jersey. The Fund will help enable researchers to commercialize their work and support the development of new businesses in diverse fields that will create jobs in our region.”
An advisory committee comprising business leaders, financiers, entrepreneurs and other individuals with biotechnology, biomedical, engineering and venture capital experience provides real-world expertise and assists the Foundation’s Technology/New Venture Development Committee in overseeing the Fund.
The Foundation recently appointed technology leader Howard Lubert as the Fund’s managing director. Lubert has more than 30 years of experience in business, angel and venture capital investing, and technical due diligence. He is co-founder and area president of Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, the local branch of the world’s largest private equity angel investor network, and was an adjunct professor and entrepreneur in residence at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and a fellow of Fox’s e-business Institute.