Osage University Partners Closes First Fund at $100 mln

Osage University Partners said Thursday that it has closed its first fund, Osage University Partners I, at $100 million. The VC fund is affiliated with universities to make direct investments in startup companies.


Osage University Partners announces the final closing of Osage University Partners I, achieving its target fund size of $100 million. The novel venture capital fund has affiliated with leading universities to make direct investments in their most promising startup companies.

Osage University Partners has created a unique model through which it manages the coinvestment rights held by its affiliated universities. These coinvestment rights provide Osage with contractual access to invest in the future financings of some of the most promising startup companies that have licensed technology from these universities. Affiliate universities then share in Osage’s profit and can use their proceeds to stimulate further educational, research and commercialization initiatives.

Osage University Partners is also pleased to announce that it has signed contracts with the following leading institutions: California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Duke University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. Beyond their research excellence, each of these universities has a world class technology transfer and commercialization program, as well as a consistent track record of founding successful startups based on ground-breaking university discoveries. These university startups often raise venture capital, create new jobs, and generate significant shareholder value. Universities nationwide collectively create approximately 600 new startups each year based on their research discoveries and have created nearly 5,000 new startups over the last ten years.

Osage University Partners was founded in 2009 by two experienced venture professionals, Robert Adelson and Marc Singer, and a nationally recognized thought leader on university startup creation, Louis Berneman. The Osage University Partners team brings to university startups a unique focus on helping companies navigate the pitfalls of moving from a research setting into full commercialization.

“We are thrilled to have achieved our fundraising target in a difficult fundraising environment,” said Robert Adelson, Managing Partner. “While venture capital fundraising has declined by more than 50% over the last few years, we achieved our fundraising goal by offering investors a unique, broad-based fund that invests in technologies developed at some of the world’s leading universities. We believe that our strategy of balancing investments across sector and development stage greatly increases our chances of providing successful returns to our investors.”

Marc Singer, Managing Partner, added, “We are fortunate to have attracted top universities that have historically created a very rich pool of companies in both life and physical sciences. The fund itself was conceived by a leader in university technology transfer, Lou Berneman, who spent 30 years in technology transfer and brings an inside perspective on university commercialization.”

Osage University Partners will invest in a significant number of both early and late stage companies from its affiliated universities. It will invest in a broad range of sectors, including therapeutics, medical diagnostics, energy, advanced materials, semiconductors, and more. The fund has invested in nine companies, and one of those companies, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, a diagnostics company focused on Alzheimer’s disease, has already been sold to Eli Lilly. A second portfolio company, Gevo, a biofuels company that produces isobutanol from biomass, completed a successful IPO on February 9, 2011.

Osage University Partners is a member of a family of investment funds developed by Osage Partners.

About Osage University Partners

Osage University Partners is a venture capital firm focused on investing in startups that are commercializing university technologies. It collaborates with universities that are leaders at technology commercialization to invest in their startups and Osage shares its profit with those institutions. Osage University Partners invests in both life and physical science companies at early and late stages of company development. Osage University Partners recently raised its inaugural $100 million fund.

About Osage Partners

Founded in 1990 by Robert Adelson, Osage Partners is a family of investment funds located just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Osage Partners manages in excess of $200 million. Current fund strategies include Osage Venture Partners, an early stage enterprise technology fund focused on the Mid-Atlantic region, and Osage University Partners, a multi-stage fund that invests in university startups across a range of sectors. Under the Osage Partners umbrella, member funds cross-fertilize ideas, leverage internal expertise and share networks and resources.