The Wildcat Philanthropic Seed Fund

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Wildcat Philanthropic Seed Fund web header

WHY a seed fund?

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Joules Moutet and Thomas Gianetti

Joules Moutet and Thomas Gianetti

Throughout our 10-year history, Tech Launch Arizona has launched over 130 startups to bring the inventions born of University of Arizona innovation from the lab to the world. Our process for protecting intellectual property and developing quality startups and leadership teams has produced a continually growing portfolio of high-potential, investible startups – most of which are staying right here in Arizona.

And yet, the availability of early-stage venture capital funding in our ecosystem to help these pre-revenue companies navigate the “valley of death” remains low. This fund seeks to fill that market need, providing funding at one of the most crucial times in the development of a budding startup.

  • Low availability of early-stage venture capital funding in our ecosystem

  • Pre-revenue companies need help navigating the “valley of death”

  • Tech Launch Arizona has the positioning, pipeline, and connections to get it done.

HOW does it work?

  • The Goal: A $5M pre-seed/seed investment fund for startups formed around UArizona intellectual property and limited other UArizona-related startups

  • The Target: Individual investment contributions ranging from $50,000 to $250,000

  • The Recipients: University-affiliated companies preparing for their next seed or first institutional (Series A) round

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Ashlesha Patil

Ashlesha Patil

Our goal with the Wildcat Philanthropic Seed Fund is to create a $5M pre-seed/seed investment fund for startups formed around UArizona intellectual property and limited other UArizona-related startups (eg: student). Our target individual investment contributions will range from $50,000 to $250,000. Funds will be distributed to help those companies prepare for their next seed or first institutional (Series A) round.

Preference will be given to those startups that show a great market fit and can connect the dots between the investment and how it will support the growth of the technology and help the team prepare for its next round.

A second goal of this fund is to provide learning opportunities to UArizona students. Two primary teams will be designed to include students along with leadership from both Tech Launch Arizona and FORGE. Due diligence teams will vet any company applying for funds and all investment decisions will be made by an Investment Committee. Students will be essential participants on these teams, giving them experiential learning opportunities to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs and investors.

When a company goes through a liquidity event such as a merger or an acquisition – or they go public – any proceeds will be re-invested back into the Fund, creating an evergreen source of funding for UArizona startups, an ongoing experiential student learning program, and a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem for Tucson and Arizona.

WHY should I donate?

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Joel Berkson

Joel Berkson

Donors will be supporting student experiential learning and the growth of the Tucson entrepreneurial ecosystem. This unique program provides the opportunity to support UArizona in multiple ways, and in line with our land-grant mission, seeing the impacts of university research and innovation in our communities grow.

  • Funds from liquidity events will be re-invested, creating an evergreen source for UArizona startups

  • The fund will supply talent to fuel the entrepreneurial ecosystem for Tucson and Arizona.

  • Support for student experiential learning

  • Invest in a growing Tucson and Arizona entrepreneurial ecosystem

HOW do I learn more and
make my contribution?

Feeling inspired? If you would like to contribute today, you can do so at the link below.

MAKE A GIFT NOW

If you find these prospects inspiring and would like to speak with someone, send us an email or call. We look forward to hearing from you. 

email us

Contact:

Doug Hockstad, Associate Vice President
Tech Launch Arizona
douglash@tla.arizona.edu
520-626-1720