The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, in collaboration with the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, today announced that it has invested in Reveal Design Automation, an Electronic Design Automation (EDA) start-up developing software tools for formal verification of complex semiconductor chip designs.
The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund is a student-led pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area with a focus on healthcare, technology, consumer and cleantech. The team adopts a hands-on approach to investing that leverages the talents and resources available at the Ross School of Business to make a real impact for the entrepreneur and the University. The typical investment is approximately $25,000 to $50,000, and the fund currently has nine active investments.
“The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund gives student teams the opportunity to source and close their own deals, and with this investment they’ve done an excellent job in selecting a company with great prospects and the potential for a good exit down the line,” said Stewart Thornhill, managing director of the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund and executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute. “Reveal is a strong addition to our portfolio.”
Reveal Design Automation develops software tools that streamline the process of verifying semiconductor chip designs from days down to hours. As a typical verification cycle for a new chip design requires dozens to hundreds of such verification runs, Reveal can save chip designers millions of dollars in verification expenses, reduce time-to-market by months and significantly improve confidence in chip design correctness. Founded at the University of Michigan, Reveal has won prize money from both the Michigan Business Challenge and the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, and has presented at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium. This investment will help Reveal double its headcount over the next year and further develop its assets to attract a tier-one customer as it prepares to raise its Series A sometime in the next two years.
A team of four graduate students—Graham Garvin, MBA ’16; Matthew Reardon, MBA ’16; Noam Sosnovitch, MBA ’16; and Parakhar Goel, MBA ’15—conducted in-depth due diligence on the company, including gathering information from local networks on the company’s prospects. “We talked to other investors and advisors in the community, and there’s a lot of confidence in CEO Zaher Andraus’s ability to carry his company forward,” Garvin said. “That was a big stamp of approval for us.”
“Following the whole process from sourcing companies to invest in and conducting a formal due diligence to negotiating and closing the deal is an incredible hands-on experience,” Garvin said. “Because this fund focuses on early stage companies, we have many opportunities to work our networks to source companies and make our own decisions.”
“This investment represents a major validation of our work by the University of Michigan community,” said Zaher Andraus, president and CEO, Reveal Design Automation. “We’re looking forward to working with the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund to bring our company to the next level.”