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University of California is on the verge of creating a venture fund of up to $250 million called UC Ventures, according to a press release issued Monday by the UC Office of the President.

UC Ventures will only invest in “UC research-fueled enterprises,” and the purpose of the fund is to “generate attractive, risk-adjusted returns,” according to the release. However, UC President Janet Napolitano also sees this fund as “a potential vehicle for providing resources to support the basic research and talent.”

The money comes from the Office of the Chief Investment Officer, leaving student tuition or state funding intact (there has been a great amount of tension of late around tuition hikes in the UC system).

The fund will be created as an “independent investment vehicle” with a UC Ventures team in charge of investment management. To gain insights from the industry, “leading figures in Silicon Valley” will be involved in the fund’s advisory board.

The UC system has already been a hotbed for startups and entrepreneurship. The institution claims it has “more than 20 incubators and accelerators.” However, many of the startups coming out of UC’s research labs are related to bio or green tech. The press release cited three recent examples of successful UC startups: Aragon, Kite Pharma, and Seragon, all of which are pharmaceutical companies.

On Sept. 18, the UC Board of Regents will vote on the proposal during the board’s meeting. If the proposal is passed, UC Ventures will be launched in 2015.


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