UVA LVG 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 LVG 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.

Managed by the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group (LVG), the organization responsible for the commercialization of University research discoveries, the $10 million UVA LVG Seed Fund is uniquely positioned to provide capital and other resources to accelerate technologies based on UVA research to market. The fund is evergreen and will re-invest its gains to provide capital for additional investments. Investment decisions are made with the oversight of the Seed Fund Committee, which also led the search for the managing director.


  • 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 LVG 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.