TechFlash: WA Seeds W Fund with $5 Million

Source: Greg Lamm, TechFlash, December 5, 2011.

The state of Washington is using $5 million in federal money to help a venture fund organized to invest in early-stage technology, life science, and IT companies.

The W Fund is aimed at helping find a marketplace for inventions coming out of the University of Washington and other state research centers. The $5 million is in the form of a five-year loan to the fund, which state officials hope will also attract money from angel investors.

The fund will be overseen by [WCTA Board Member] Linden Rhoads, vice provost of commercialization at the University of Washington [Center for Commercialization]. The fund is seen as a way to prime the pump for early stage companies to land financing. The sluggish economic recovery has made it harder for some startups to attract investment, said Rogers Weed, director of the Washington Department of Commerce.

In 2010, Rhoads set up the Husky Bridge Investment Fund to raise cash from wealthy individuals, venture capital firms and foundations. When it launched, the fund had raised $13 million of a $20 million investment fund.

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