Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund - Submit
a Business Plan
Student Team |
Student Application |
Submit a Plan
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 have evidence from prospective customers that they 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.
Applying for Funding
The application deadline for funding in the 2013-2014 year is November 30, 2013. Interested companies must complete a short application by the deadline to be considered for funding. The Fund reviews submissions on an ongoing basis, with priority to those that were submitted before the application deadline.
The Zell Lurie Fund application process is outlined below:
October - December: Applications are received and evaluated. Applicants will be contacted to set up a meeting to clarify details on the application form.
November - January: The screening/evaluation process continues. The 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 - February: The Fund presents selected investment opportunities to the board and discusses the terms of investment with the proposing entity.
March - April: Fund makes final investment decision.
Due to limited resources, we are unable to fund all Zell Lurie Fund applicants. Nonetheless, companies in which we choose not to invest are encouraged to reapply next year.
Benefits for University Inventors
Zell Lurie 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 Fund Advisory Board, the student teams 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 students 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 Zell Lurie
Fund team's recommendation of the optimal path to commercialization
and have the opportunity to present their business plan to the
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 Zell Lurie Fund
The fund typically initially invests $15,000-$80,000, 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 Fund is also
happy to make smaller initial investments to help get a team
started on the path to commercialization.
2. What is the Zell Lurie Fund Application Process?
The Zell Lurie 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.
Zell Lurie 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: Zell Lurie Fund presents selected investment
opportunities to the board and discusses the terms of investment
with the proposing entity.
February - April: Zell Lurie Fund presents each investment
opportunity to the Board for final approval.
Due to limited resources, we are unable to fund all Zell Lurie
Fund applicants. Nonetheless, companies in which we choose not
to invest are encouraged to reapply next year.
3. Is the information shared with the Zell Lurie Fund kept
All fund members 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 student members will make their best effort to keep confidential all information
shared during evaluation.
4. What value does the Zell Lurie Fund student team bring to
The Zell Lurie 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
Students on the Zell Lurie Fund will reserve the option to attend
company board meetings for up to one year after investment.
If needed, Fund members will be available to provide strategic
business expertise. One of the most important benefits of working on an investment with the Zell Lurie Fund is the experience it will provide to facilitate future financings, prticularly with venture capital firms.
5. What is the role of the Zell Lurie Fund Advisory Board?
The Zell Lurie Fund Advisory board consists of successful local
entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business consultants.
The board serves as advisors, providing the team members with guidance
and feedback during the due-diligence and firm evaluation process.
Finalists in the Zell Lurie Fund investment process will have an
opportunity to present to the board and hear their feedback.
6. How is the Zell Lurie Fund different from the Wolverine
While both the Zell Lurie Fund and the Wolverine Venture Fund are
student-directed, the Zell Lurie Fund differs in a few important ways:
The Zell Lurie 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 Zell Lurie Fund invests in earlier stage companies
- The Zell Lurie Fund typically may invest before venture investors participate whereas the Wolverine
Venture Fund almost always invests in a syndicate with other
7. What are the terms of the Zell Lurie Fund investment? Does
the Zell Lurie Fund take an equity stake in the company?
The Zell Lurie 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 Zell Lurie Fund?
The Zell Lurie 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.