UVA Seed Fund

ABOUT THE UVA SEED FUND                                                                                                                                         

On November 1, 2013, University of Virginia President, Teresa A. Sullivan, announced the UVA Cornerstone Plan – UVA’s strategic plan to set the course for the University’s third century. Innovation is a central theme throughout the Plan and is emphasized in one of its five pillars:

“Strengthen the University’s capacity to advance knowledge and serve the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world through research, scholarship, creative arts, and innovation.”

With Innovation as one of the five pillars and a central theme throughout the plan, the University created the $10 million UVA Seed Fund in 2015, with funding from the UVA Health System and unrestricted private funds to launch and support new ventures emerging from the University portfolio. By investing in UVA based startups, the university is enhancing the impact of transformative ideas and addressing unmet needs for technologies considered too early or too small for investment by traditional sources.

“The main goal is to build on prior University investments in innovation, translational research and commercialization by actually investing in start-up companies to help them grow at the seed stage of financing,” said Michael Straightiff, executive director of the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group.

The UVA Seed Fund will operate as part of the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group whose mission is to maximize the impact of UVA’s innovation assets via commercialization, while providing high levels of service to faculty and students in terms of business development, new venture creation and now seed funding.The fund will re-invest its gains to provide capital for additional investments. Investment decisions will be made with the oversight of the Investment Management Committee, which also led the search for the managing director.

UVA Seed Fund Investment Management Committee members are:

  • Gerry Brunk, Managing Director, Lumira Capital
  • Robert Paull, Co-Founder and Venture Partner of Lux Capital
  • Jonathan Ebinger, General Partner of BlueRun Ventures
  • Dayna Grayson, Partner, New Enterprise Associates
  • Peter M. Grant, Partner, Anchormark Holdings, LLC
  • Richard P. Shannon, UVA Executive Vice President for Health Affairs (ex-officio)


UVA Seed Fund investments shall:

  • Support UVA's Cornerstone Plan and Mission
  • Be capable of generating significant financial returns
  • Be diversified to support a broad range of innovation assets/opportunities being developed at UVA or by UVA faculty, staff, students, and/or iLab affiliated companies.


The UVA Seed Fund will invest in companies founded to commercialize UVA intellectual property; companies founded by current faculty, staff, and students at UVA, and iLab companies. In special cases, the UVA Seed Fund may invest in development of innovation assets to improve or enhance the commercial viability, value or marketability.


Applicants must submit a comprehensive business plan and 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

Upload your business plan in PDF format here

Upload your company/technology presentation in PDF format

Upload your executive summary in PDF format here

For information about eligibility requirements and how to apply, please contact Bob Creeden, managing director of the UVA Seed Fund & New Ventures at creeden@virginia.edu or (434) 924-0462.