W Fund, a $20m Seattle, Washington-based university-focused fund, has officially launched.
The vehicle aims to support 20 or more startups spun out of the University of Washington and other state research institution between 2012 and 2016.
Managing directors include:
Steve Singh, chairman and CEO at Concur;
Troy Cichos, administrative partner at Madrona Capital;
Rudy Gadre, former general counsel for Facebook and an active angel investor;
John Gardner, dean of academic affairs at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and former vice president of Advancement and External Affairs at Washington State University;
Paul Jenny, vice provost for planning and budgeting at UW; and
the W Fund’s General Manager Linden Rhoads, vice provost for commercialization at UW and a serial technology entrepreneur.
The investment decision will be taken by the investment committee, which include:
Tom Alberg and Greg Gottesman at Madrona Venture Group,
Steve Gillis at ARCH Venture Partners,
Lucinda Stewart and Chad Waite at OVP Venture Partners, and
Ron Howell and Luciana Simoncini at WRF Capital.
Investors in the W Fund include venture capital firms and law firms, entrepreneurs of technology and life science companies, and the Washington Research Foundation. The University of Washington is investing private, donated money and the W Fund is also leveraging federal stimulus monies garnered with support from the Washington State Department of Commerce.