OU Hopes For Return On Investment In Venture Capital Partnership

By
Taylor Pool
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Fri, Apr 27, 2012 10:06 am

Ohio University leaders are in the process of hammering out the details of the multi-million dollar venture capital partnership with Ohio State University announced earlier this month.

OU Vice President for Finance Stephen Golding says the terms and structure of the fund should be finalized by July.
 
OU pledged $15 million to the partnership and OSU added $20 million.
 
The fund is designed to create and keep jobs in the state.
 
Golding says OU is not getting in the business of deciding which businesses should be invested in. 
 
"What the university is really doing is committing funds to support the technology commercialization of faculty and community-based technologies within Ohio and in partnership with Ohio State," said Golding.
 
The money comes from the Ohio University Foundation, which set aside the funds for private equity.
 
Golding says the financial risk for OU is the same as any other venture fund investment. 
 
"Obviously, you're making educated guesses on which companies will be successful, but we already do that through the private equity portfolio that we have, and we intend to run the innovation fund in a similar manner to how the other venture funds are run in the endowment portfolio," said Golding.
 
Golding said OU and Ohio State partnered in order to generate more funds collectively than just combined $35 million pledged by the two universities.  He calls the agreement an "arms-length transaction," which the university expects will generate market rates of return on investment through the projects selected.
 
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