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Frankel Commercialization Fund

Overview | Student Participation | Submit a Business Plan | Current Portfolio | Advisors

The Frankel Commercialization Fund (FCF) is a pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area. The team adopts a hands-on approach to investing that leverages the talents and resources available at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan to make a real impact for the entrepreneur and the University.

The Frankel team is actively looking for entrepreneurs seeking pre-seed funds to turn big ideas into exceptional companies.

The goals of the FCF are to:

  • Identify and enable the commercialization of research and ideas originating within the University of Michigan and surrounding community.
  • Create a financially self-sustainable process of research commercialization, by which exits from past investments fund future investments.
  • Provide hands-on business strategy assistance to the entrepreneur to help position them for success.
  • Enable an action-based educational experience for Ross MBA students in early stage company formation and evaluation.
  • Build excitement within the University community about the prospects of research commercialization.

The strength of the Frankel Fund is directly derived from the core team of Ross MBA students ("Frankel Fellows"), selected for their depth of related prior experience and their interest in early stage company formation. The Frankel Fellows are organized into four investment teams - health care, technology, consumer, and cleantech investments.

Each Frankel team may invest up to $100,000 per investment (in multiple installments) to entrepreneurial ideas with great potential and a vision for the future. The teams are mentored by Tom Porter, the Fund's managing director and executive-in-residence at the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School, and guided by an advisory board, consisting of experienced executives in health care and information technologies and early-stage company formation and investing.

Student Testimonials

““More than any other extracurricular activity, the Frankel Fund has been the highlight of my Ross education. The opportunity to interview entrepreneurs, discuss the merits of applicants with Frankel Advisory Board members, and attend lectures on topics such as early-stage venture capital finance, has provided invaluable exposure to the technology commercialization process. I look forward to employing what I have learned as I pursue a career in entrepreneurship.” Hanns Anders, MBA 2009

“My experience in the Frankel Fund has without question been the most enriching aspect of my MBA education. The unique blend of real world experience infused with academic structure has helped to solidify both my classroom knowledge and ability to add value to the early-stage technology commercialization process.” Carl Timm, Ross MBA 2007

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