Our Investment Approach
Our Fund is not a charity or grant maker. We are seeking venture capital like returns for our investors which begin with an investment at a fair valuation. Beyond the requirement that there be a strong link between the portfolio company and UMass Amherst, we look at prospective investments the way any seasoned investor would with particular attention to the following:
- Commercial potential of the product or solution including customer identification and validation
- Market differentiation and defensibility
- Planned use of funds including the likelihood that the Fund’s investment will help the company achieve a measurable milestone
- Management team
- Risk factors and management’s plan for mitigating those risks
- Potential for investment return
We are not limited to particular industries but find that most of our investment opportunities have a strong element of technology and innovation. In niche areas, our investment committee looks to advisory committees of domain experts for input.
Given that we are making early stage investments, we do not typically seek controlling interests in our portfolio companies or board seats. We do require transparency, regular financial and business reports and the ability to meet with the management of our portfolio companies as needed.
We try to provide more than money. We look to support our portfolio companies by leveraging the resources available through the robust network of the faculty, administration, alumni and friends of UMass Amherst.