The student managed Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund has made two investments. The fund provided pre-seed investments to healthcare startup AlertWatch and ad tech start up AdAdapted. The collective investments total $90,000 and closed in November 2013 and January 2014, respectively. The deals mark the latest in a series of successful investments by the fund (formerly the Frankel Fund), which includes Accio Energy, Ambiq Micro and Are You A Human in its portfolio.
For more background 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. A team of 25 graduate students manage the fund and are organized into four investment teams – health care, technology, consumer and cleantech investments. Each team may invest up to $100,000 per investment (in multiple installments) in entrepreneurial ideas with great potential and a vision for the future. The process provides action-based educational experience for MBA and other graduate students in early stage company formation and evaluation. The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund is part of a trifecta of student-led venture funds offered at Ross, including the pioneering Wolverine Venture Fund and Social Venture Fund.
“The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund is as close to a real-world investing experience as any MBA student could possibly receive,” said Stewart Thornhill, director of the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund and executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute. “Both of these investments demonstrate the strength of the local startup scene and represent the power of the greater U-M community to foster growth within the region. AlertWatch and AdAdapted both have tremendous promise to transform their respective industries and deliver a return on our investments.”