Licensing & Ventures Group

UVA LVG Seed Fund

The UVA Licensing & Ventures Group launched a second seed-stage investment fund, the LVG Seed Fund II, to enable sustainable funding opportunities for new ventures emerging from the UVA research portfolio.

The LVG Seed Fund supports new ventures emerging from the UVA research portfolio. Managed by the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group, the $10 million LVG Seed Fund is uniquely positioned to assess new ventures created from UVA research ideas and discoveries. The investment team works closely with the licensing professionals to identify opportunities and is governed by an oversight committee comprised of leaders in early-stage investing and startup development who are all UVA alumni. Investments from this fund are typically joined by other investors in each respective industry. Since the LVG Seed Fund supports UVA technologies, its portfolio spans several industries, including cybersecurity and medical devices.

The LVG Seed Fund II will meet the demand for funding early-stage innovations generated by a 50% growth in University research expenditures since the launch of the initial fund in 2016.

The new $10 million LVG Seed Fund II will have the same focus on companies founded to commercialize UVA intellectual property and operate under the same parameters as the LVG Seed Fund. The same investment committee, comprised of leaders in early-stage investing and startup development who are all UVA alumni, will also oversee the LVG Seed Fund II.

Eligibility

Our evaluation of investment opportunities follows an industry-proven diligence process that begins with our online application. The timeline varies on a case-by-case basis and can take up to nine months to reach an investment decision.

Companies eligible to receive funding from the LVG Seed Fund include:

  • Companies founded to commercialize UVA intellectual property
  • Companies founded by current UVA faculty, staff, students, and iLab companies
  • In certain cases, alumni-founded companies may be considered

Seed Fund Process

Explore how the LVG Seed Fund supports new ventures emerging from the UVA portfolio.

Apply for Funding

Applicants must submit a presentation slide deck outlining:

  • The problem being solved
  • The market opportunity and competition
  • The technology/product/solution and its uniqueness
  • The competition and how this technology/product/solution compares
  • Financial model/milestones
  • The current management and research team
  • Level of funding needed and how the funds will be utilized

Apply for Funding

Use this form to submit your presentation and apply for funding.

View Portfolio

Explore the companies funded by the LVG Seed Fund.

Investment Committee

An independent Seed Fund Committee comprised of leaders in early-stage investing and startup development who are all UVA alumni oversee each investment decision.

Gerry Brunk

Managing Director, Lumira Capital

Gerry Brunk is a Managing Director with Lumira Capital, a North American health care venture capital firm. He joined Lumira in 2002 to establish its Boston office.  As a venture investor, Brunk has invested in and served on the boards of directors of over twenty life science companies, including Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead Sciences), MAKO Surgical (acquired by Stryker), Corvia Medical, KAI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen), Endotronix, BAROnova, Targanta Therapeutics (acquired by The Medicines Company), Cardiac Dimensions and Celtaxsys. 

Before joining Lumira Capital, Brunk was an entrepreneur who co-founded and served in a variety of management and board capacities at venture capital-funded start-ups in the pharmacy benefit management, senior living and academic technology transfer sectors. Earlier, as an Engagement Manager in the healthcare practice of The Boston Consulting Group, he advised pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms on strategic issues involving portfolio management, R&D productivity, new product launches, reimbursement and acquisitions. Brunk began his career as a member of the investment banking group of Credit Suisse First Boston where his clients included public and private healthcare companies. 

Brunk received his M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he studied biology and economics. He serves on the board of Southeast BIO, the oversight committee of the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research at the University of Miami, the review board of the Ivy Foundation Biomedical Innovation Fund at the University of Virginia, and as a mentor for the Canadian Technology Accelerator in Boston and the Stanford University Biodesign program.

Peter M. Grant II

Founding Partner, Anchormark Holdings, LLC

Peter Grant has more than 25 years of experience in private equity investing, investment banking and capital markets transactions and is a founding partner of Anchormarck Holdings, LLC. Prior to forming Anchormarck, Grant was a founding partner of Stone Arch Capital, LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota, served as U.S. Chairman of RBC Capital Markets, as President and Chief Operating Officer of Dain Rauscher Wessels (DRW) and on the executive and operating committees of both firms.

He has been a member of the New York Stock Exchange, served on the management committee of Royal Bank Capital Partners, and was the managing partner of DRW Venture Partners, LLC. In addition, he served on the Board of Directors of Tamir Fishman & Company (the largest investment bank in Israel) and the Advisory Board of Tamir Fishman Ventures.

Prior to RBC Capital Markets and Dain Rauscher Wessels, Grant had a distinguished career as Managing Director in the equity capital markets divisions of Credit Suisse First Boston and Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) in New York.

Grant is a board member and immediate past Board Chair of Global Impact, and serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Minnesota Foundation Investment Advisors. He is a past Chair of the Board of Managers of the Alumni Association of the University of Virginia, where he also serves on the College Foundation Board, The Board of Trustees of the Darden Foundation, the board of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, and on the Batten Institute Advisory Council. Grant is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Dayna Grayson

General Partner, Construct Capital

Dayna Grayson is Co-founder and General Partner of Construct Capital, an early-stage venture firm that invests in extraordinary founders building technology to transform the most foundational industries of our economy. Dayna was one of the first venture capitalists to invest in real transformation of industrial sectors of our economy through software-based models. She backed companies creating new advances in manufacturing, automation, and vertically integrated consumer brands. She was the lead investor from the earliest stages and was on the board of companies including Desktop Metal (2015 - today), Tulip (2017 - 2020), Onshape (acqd by PTC) (2013-2019), Framebridge (acqd by Graham Holdings) (2014-2020), and Guideline (seed in 2015). She also led investments in Formlabs, Neuralmagic, Evenly, and Wirewheel.

She is now focused on building an exclusively early-stage focused VC firm with Rachel Holt, starting with disruptions in sectors from manufacturing and supply chain and transportation that drive half our economy’s GDP are failing to meet customer expectations.

Prior to joining NEA, Dayna was an investor at North Bridge Venture Partners in Boston. She started her career in product development and led design efforts at Blackbaud [BLKB], the leading global provider of software to nonprofit organizations, as the company grew to over $130 million in revenue and completed a successful public offering.

She is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Systems Engineering) and Harvard Business School, where she serves as a venture partner today.

Kristin Gunther

Principal, Revolution Growth

Kristin Gunther is a Principal at Revolution Growth. Kristin brings over 15 years of experience in private equity, finance, and operations to Revolution Growth. Prior to joining Revolution, she spent five years at Perseus LLC, most recently as Vice President, where she worked with portfolio companies and management teams on growth strategies, operating and finance matters, and exit planning. She began her career as an investment banking analyst at Rothschild Inc. in New York, NY, and as a research associate at CRT Capital Group in Stamford, CT. She serves on the boards of Revolution Foods and Scopely and worked on the exits of FedBid, Handy, and Lolly Wolly Doddle.

Kristin received a B.A. in Economics from Wesleyan University and earned her M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Kristin is originally from Massachusetts.

Robert Paull

Co-Founder and Venture Partner, Lux Capital

Robert Paull is Co-Founder and Venture Partner, focusing on healthcare. Robert manages Lux Capital’s investments in Kyruus (healthcare IT), Cala Health (bioelectronics), Cerulean Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CERU – pharmaceutical nanoencapsulation), Magen Biosciences (acquired by PPD – dermatology), Molecular Imprints (acquired by Canon – semiconductor imprint lithography), and Visterra, Inc. (infectious diseases).

Paull was the founding CEO of Harvard Medical School spinout Genocea Biosciences (NASDAQ: GNCA – vaccine discovery) and founding CEO of Johns Hopkins spinout Kala Pharmaceuticals (ophthalmology). Paull was nominated as Biotech CEO of the Year at the World Vaccine Congress and was selected as one of the “100 of the Most Inspiring People” by PharmaVoice Magazine. He is Co-Founder of Lux Research and has served as an advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Paull was also a member of Motorola’s Research Visionary Board and has been an invited lecturer or panelist at MIT, Stanford, Yale University, Brown, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute, Georgetown, and the University of Virginia. He has been published in The Journal of Biomedical Materials Research and Nature Biotechnology. Paull graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Architecture and is a former member of the Regional Selection Committee for UVA’s Jefferson Scholars Foundation.