Frankel Commercialization Fund - Submit
a Business Plan
Overview | Student
Participation | Submit a Business Plan | Current
Portfolio | Advisors
To be considered for an investment by the Fund, projects will
need to meet the Fund's criteria for investment. Primarily,
- Be driven by founders who are committed to building a successful
enterprise and recruiting managers with the skills to do so.
- Support technologies or products that are advanced, proprietary
(if applicable), and meet a large unmet market need or provide
at least an order of magnitude performance improvement compared
to existing solutions.
- Have a U-M or local Ann Arbor connection. Founders seeking
to commercialize technology or products owned by the University
should contact the University's Office of Technology Transfer
prior to submitting an application.
Commercialization Business Plans
For the 2010-2011 academic year, the Frankel Fund will be evaluating business plans and applications in two rounds. Interested companies/projects may be submitted for consideration at any time between September 8 and January 14. A business plan or short application must be submitted on or before the deadline dates listed below to be considered for investment by May 2011.
Round 1: November 1, 2010
Round 2: January 14, 2011
Benefits for University Inventors
Frankel Fund teams will seek opportunities where they can work
closely with inventors to help identify the key milestones necessary
to demonstrate the idea’s utility and market potential
and position the idea to receive investment capital in the future.
With the advice and counsel of the FCF Advisory Board, the Frankel
Fellows will apply their skills and wealth of experience to
analyzing the commercialization potential of each project. Inventors
and founders with high-potential ideas will receive assistance
from the Fellows in the development of their plan for commercialization.
Finalists (one or two per sector) will, in addition to being
considered for an investment, receive the benefit of the Frankel
Fund team's recommendation of the optimal path to commercialization
and have the opportunity to present their business plan to the
FCF team and its advisory board, which includes a number of
successful angel investors and venture capitalists.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the size of the typical Frankel Fund
The fund typically initially invests $65,000-$85,000, with the
possibility for a follow on investment for a total of $100,000
in funding. Each investment opportunity will be evaluated individually
to determine the appropriate investment amount. The FCF is also
happy to make smaller initial investments to help get a team
started on the path to commercialization.
2. What is the Frankel Fund Application Process?
The Frankel Fund application process is outlined below:
September - January : Applications are received and evaluated.
Applicants will be contacted to set up a meeting to clarify
details on the application form.
January - March: The screening/evaluation process continues.
Frankel Fund initiates the due diligence process to evaluate
the firm's commercial viability. The Fund will conduct 2-3
more meetings with each company.
January - March: Frankel Fund presents selected investment
opportunities to the board and discusses the terms of investment
with the proposing entity.
February - April: Frankel Fund presents each investment
opportunity to the Board for final approval.
Due to limited resources, we are unable to fund all Frankel
Fund applicants. Nonetheless, companies in which we choose not
to invest are encouraged to reapply next year.
3. Is the information shared with the Frankel Fund kept
All Frankel Fellows have signed umbrella non-disclosure agreements
with the University of Michigan that prevents transfer of university
information to outsides side sources. For entrepreneurs with
ideas not under the university umbrella, the Frankel Fellows
will make our best effort to keep confidential all information
shared during evaluation.
4. What value does the Frankel Fund student team bring to
The Frankel Fund team will be actively involved in due diligence,
which will include assessing business risks and the IP landscape,
conducting a market size assessment, speaking to customers,
etc. The goal of the analysis is to determine the feasibility
for commercialization and the key success factors for raising
capital for the proposed venture in the future. The fund will
provide the company their findings and feedback which will be
very useful for making decisions about how to position the company
The Frankel Fund Fellows will reserve the option to attend
company board meetings for up to one year after investment.
If needed, Frankel Fellows will be available to provide strategic
5. What is the role of the Frankel Fund Advisory Board?
The Frankel Fund ABvisory board consists of successful local
entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business consultants.
The board serves as advisors, providing the Fellows with guidance
and feedback during the due-diligence and firm evaluation process.
Finalists in the Frankel Fund investment process will have an
opportunity to present to the board and hear their feedback.
6. How is the Frankel Fund different from the Wolverine
While both the Frankel Fund and the Wolverine Venture Fund are
student-run, the Frankel Fund differs in a few important ways:
The Frankel Fund is focused on commercializing technologies
and supporting business opportunities in and around with the
University of Michigan whereas the Wolverine Venture Fund will
invest in companies from around the country.
- The Frankel Fund invests in earlier stage companies
- The Frankel Fund typically invests alone whereas the Wolverine
Venture Fund almost always invests in a syndicate with other
7. What are the terms of the Frankel Fund investment? Does
the Frankel Fund take an equity stake in the company?
The Frankel Fund makes investments in exchange for equity in
the opportunity. The preferred investment instrument is convertible
debt. Convertible debt (A loan that entitles the lender (or
the holder of loan debenture) to convert the loan to common
or preferred stock (ordinary or preference shares) at a specified
conversion rate and within a specified timeframe) is commonly
used in early stage investments when the value of the idea is
not easily determined. Simply put, the dollar amount invested
will convert to equity on the next round of funding.
We would be happy to discuss the nature and specifics of convertible
debt with any prospective investment.
8. How can I learn more about the Frankel Fund?
The Frankel Fund is available to speak to inventors/entrepreneurs
through out the year. At any time, please feel free to contact
us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send questions to email@example.com
and completed applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Frankel Fund investment teams will review and respond to
submissions within three weeks of receipt of the application.