Berlin’s Earlybird Venture Capital has announced the launch of a new fund dedicated to helping deep tech innovations that are born in European universities become a commercial reality. With €75 million to play with, the UNI-X fund is targeting pre-seed and early seed investments, particularly university spin-offs, and is supported by a network of 45 professors who have annual contact with roughly 50,000 students.
The thinking behind this fund is not only for Earlybird to go even earlierbird, but also to help catch some of the 75 percent of the European university deep tech innovations that never make it beyond the lab. Within the walls of these hallowed institutions of higher learning, only half of the 40,000 to 60,000 innovations make their way to startup stage, with only half of these startups seeking financing, thus a 75% loss rate. At least to VC’s. Nothing mentioned of those that do NOT seek financing.
The team surrounding UNI-X is comprised of Dr. Frédéric du Bois-Reymond, Michael Hoeck, Stephan Rauscher, Philipp Semmer, Michael Schmitt and Johannes Triebs. Fleshing out the team, spotters Professor Achim Kampker from RWTH Aachen University, serves as Venture Partner, with Natalia Ahmadian joining as the newest member supporting the investment team.
“Following university spin-offs and emerging technologies for years, we have regularly encountered a lack of the right mindset to commercialize these ideas. Meanwhile, such startups are created either in the USA or in China,” comments du Bois-Reymond. “We must change this if we don't want to lose further ground. In order to be as close as possible to the creation of these ideas early on, we built up a broad network of partners from science and research. With our new Earlybird UNI-X Fund, we can now scale this concept across Europe and help even more university spin-offs succeed."