Donors FAQ

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If you are thinking of making a gift, we invite you to review our FAQ below. If you don’t see your question in the list, our team is available to answer any questions you might have for us.

IU Philanthropic Venture Fund FAQ

Our team is here to answer any question you may have about the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund.

Is the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund a real venture fund?

The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is a new, early stage venture fund launched in 2018 and managed by the IU Ventures team.

  • Like any new venture fund, we are raising money, looking at where to put our money to work and managing our operation and portfolio for venture grade returns.
  • Unlike a typical venture fund, our source of funds is donors, which allows the fund to be evergreen. 
  • Unlike a typical venture fund we invest only in IU related opportunities. 

The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund makes investments for equity like most funds, but any equity realizations are returned to the fund (instead of individual and institutional limited partners) for reinvestment.

What is a typical check size?

The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund has $11M to invest with plans to have up to $50M from donations and equity realizations. Investments range from $100k to $1M depending on the stage of company, size of the round and the investment case.

At what stage does the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund invest?

We invest at the seed, series A, and B stages and pro rata in subsequent rounds of the most promising companies.

What sectors does the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund invest in?

The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is industry agnostic, but we focus in technology and science-based sectors.

What IU affiliation is required to be considered for investment?

Companies with a founder or a member of the C-Suite that is an IU alum, faculty, staff, student or parent. Also, companies based on technology licensed from Indiana University also meet the requirement for IU affiliation.

What is the source of deal flow?

  • IU technology transfer and business development
  • IU thought leaders, sector experts and investors who refer opportunities that are too early for them but would invest if criteria are met that we can facilitate with our funding
  • Co-investors, especially those who are sector specific
  • Facilitating organizations internal and external to IU
  • Faculty, alumni and friends of IU

What is the process like for a founder interested in funding from the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund?

  • Indicate interest by filling out this form or through an introduction to the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund team by other investors and interested parties.
  • Initial review and introductory meeting between the company and one or more members of the IU Ventures.
  • Potential for additional review and formal due diligence by the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund team and further meetings with the company.
  • With a successful due diligence process, the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund will develop an investment case internally, with advisors and with input from the company.
  • Presentation to the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund investment committee who will make the final investment decision. 

How are investment decisions made?

  • Recommendations to invest are based on an investment case put forward by the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund team.  If a company is not selected for investment, the IU Ventures team works with the founders to identify other resources or make recommendations for next steps.
  • The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund team works closely with our investment committee of serial entrepreneurs and experienced investors to evaluate and provide feedback to candidate companies and invest funds.
  • One or more opportunities may be formally presented to the committee each month.

Given the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is a donated fund, what is in it for donors?

  • The chance to assure that support exists for IU founders regardless of other University priorities
  • Tax deduction
  • Campaign credit
  • Entrepreneur engagement and mentoring opportunities 
  • Regular updates on the fund, investment pipeline and portfolio companies that donations support
  • Annual gathering to meet portfolio companies, other donors and the IU Ventures team
  • Long term multiplying impact of their donation through the evergreen structure of the fund

How does the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund help Indiana University?

  • Engagement and re-engagement of venture savvy alumni who may be future donors to the University
  • Support the mission to ensure the results of IU research and scholarly endeavors reach the public
  • Increased ability to move IU innovations from lab to market for the benefit of society
  • Support to entrepreneurial faculty, staff and students
  • Enhanced reputation as a tech commercialization leader
  • Improved returns from new venture licensees of IU

How does the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund help the State of Indiana?

  • Enhance venture community resources 
  • Support for new companies in the State
  • Encourage investment in Indiana companies through syndication with external funds
  • Creation of new products, services, companies, and jobs leading to economic growth
  • Benefit from IU innovations to the State, the nation and the world

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