Facebook, Groupon, Zynga. Looking at these companies now it is hard to remember where they started, but hard work, dedication, and of course a lot of funding are what made these start-ups part of our daily lives. Start-ups are the way of the future and it seems everyone wants on the bandwagon. Now start-up funding is popping up from companies and even universities all over the country.
The University of Michigan has recently passed an initiative to invest $25 million of its endowment into start-ups at the university. The university realized the missed financial opportunity of such investments and decided to take the lead among other universities by starting it’s own investment program. The goal of the funding will be to make the start-ups more visible and to ultimately achieve a greater return on investment.
While university funding is a new opportunity, venture capital has been a core source of funding for start-ups from the start. Many companies are now aggressively funding start-ups in their industries, such as Access BridgeGap Ventures. Access BridgeGap is the life sciences venture investment arm of Access Industries, which plans to annually fund three to five early stage start-ups over the next few years. Over $75 million dollars will be donated to companies with potentially high-impact technologies in the therapy human therapeutic fields.
In order to tap into the growing funding opportunities, start-ups must be able to present not only an idea but also a sound business plan. To fill the gap for students who have a “big idea” but lack the resources to execute, the University of Texas – Austin is now offering a start-up 101 class. The class expects students to already have their ideas and works to help them with business development through building a professional network, developing ethics, protecting their IP, and mentorship from nearly 30 of the Austin community’s most successful company founders.
With the support of major companies and universities, it is clear where economic growth is expected to boom. Do you think investing in innovative and creative start-up companies may just be the “new deal” for the modern day and the key to positive economic changes for the country?