A venture fund, established by the Seed Investment Fund of the Russian Venture Company (RVC) and TSU, has officially started its work. The investment partnership contract was signed on July 13. The size of the fund is 33.3 million rubles; the share of RVC is 75% and TSU’s share is 25%.
This is the first venture fund in Russia in which a university has been a direct participant as a party to the investment partnership agreement. The management company of the fund is the company DI-Group, specializing in investments of high-tech start-ups.
- TSU is already one of the most dynamic partners for the development of an innovative ecosystem for the RVC for many years, - commented Evgeny Kuznetsov, the director of the RVC's subsidiary funds, on the start of the work - The fund will develop both university start-ups and projects of the whole Tomsk innovation region. RVC already has a group of such microfunds, including with Moscow State University (MSU Science Park). The practice of developing university funds seems to me to be an extremely promising way of developing science-intensive projects in Russia.
According to Evgeny Kuznetsov, among the priority areas of the new fund investments are bioengineering, biosynthetic, biosensoric, nano-, information, and cognitive technologies; basic technologies of power electrical engineering; technologies for creating energy-efficient transportation, distribution, and energy utilization; and others. The maximum investment of the fund in one project will not exceed 8 million rubles.
- A venture fund is an integral part of the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation development, - said Konstantin Belyakov, Vice-Rector for Innovation. - In this case, our university venture fund for the first time acts as a partner, which makes real money. This is a unique case. Students and graduate students will be able to see in real cases how the process of investing is carried out and assess in real economic conditions the possibility of obtaining investment funds for a project. The structure is transparent and meets regulatory requirements.
Igor Kovalev, co-founder of DI-Group, stressed that they are not acting as a managing company of the fund for the first time, therefore they know from the inside that the commercialization of scientific developments is a complex and time-consuming process.