Frankel Commercialization Fund
Overview | Portfolio | Frankel Fellows | Advisors | Student Application | Submit a Plan
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 Ross School of Business 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.
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 goals of the FCF are to:
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) in 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.
“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
In the News
Tech startup Are You a Human gets funding, plans move to Detroit
Crain's Detroit Business (July 26, 2011)
University of Michigan Frankel Fund Invests in Ambiq Micro
dbusiness (September 1, 2010)
DFJ and Cisco Announce Ambiq Micro as Winner of Global Business Plan Competition
MarketWatch (July 1, 2010)
Ross School's Frankel Fund Announces New Investment
RSB (June 17, 2009)
VCs Give It The Old College Try
The Wall Street Journal (March 12, 2009)
Frankel Fund announces its first investment (pdf)
Monroe Street Journal (December 9, 2007)
Fund Invests (pdf)
Detroit Free Press (November 27, 2007)
fund invests in Arbor Photonics (pdf)
Ann Arbor News (November 27, 2007)
venture fund makes first investment (pdf)
Ann Arbor News (November 26, 2007)
Frankel Fund Makes First Investment (pdf)
Michigan Technolgy News (November 26, 2007)
of Michigan Frankel fund to invest in Arbor Photonics' fiber
Laser Focus World Magazine (November 26, 2007)
Fund Makes First Investment
Crain's Detroit Business (November 26, 2007)
Investment for Frankel Fund
RSB (November 26, 2007)
Capital Funds Require Patience (pdf)
Grand Rapids Press (November 19, 2007)
Frankel Fund ready to invest in startups
University Record (March 6, 2006)
Student-Run Frankel Fund Ready To Invest In U-M Startups
MiTechNews (February 21, 2006)
New Student-Run Frankel Fund is Ready to Invest in U-M Startups
RSB (February 20, 2006)