This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Mike Partsch, chief venture officer for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
“Because of our role with the university, we have a major impact on the ecosystem in Madison,” he said. “And because of that, I think we also have a role, a responsibility to help the ecosystem statewide.”
Under a newly formalized structure called WARF Ventures, WARF’s $110 million investment fund will invest directly in startup companies. The organization typically invests in UW-Madison startup companies that rely on WARF intellectual property.
“There can be some investments outside of that space, but there have to be strong connections to the university,” he said.
Although Partsch is the inaugural chief venture officer, WARF has been making direct investments from the fund for a number of years. As part of his role, Partsch will be managing the existing portfolio of 16 companies.
“In addition, of course, I’ve got to make new investments, and oversee the investment process — evaluating new technologies we’re looking at, doing the due diligence, and then making those investments,” he said.
WARF is holding an event April 23 where Partsch will officially launch WARF Ventures, and will provide more details on the new venture office.
See more details on the Entrepreneurons event and register here: https://www.warf.org/entrepreneurons
Listen to the podcast here.