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University Of California Launches $250 Million Venture Fund

The University of California announced a $250 million venture fund to invest in startups “emerging from the University of California system.” The fund will be focused on students, professors and alumni of the 10 UC schools, with a particular emphasis on startups in thelife sciences, technology, energy, agriculture and materials sectors.

The investment arm will be led by Vivek Ranadive, an entrepreneur and owner of the Sacramento Kings.

“I look forward to supporting fellow entrepreneurs and growing innovative, value-driven enterprises with a mission to advance our society and make the world a better place,” said Ranadive, in a statement.

With campuses throughout the state of California, including Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego, the UC system is known for having some of the nation’s top public universities. (Full disclosure: I got my undergraduate degrees at UC San Diego).

The University of California has been granted more patents than any other university in the world and has over 30 accelerators and incubators. More than 800 startups with UC patents have been founded since 1980.

“This venture will support the research and entrepreneurship of UC faculty and student researchers whose discoveries can benefit people throughout California, the nation and the world,” UC President Janet Napolitano said, in a statement.

The fund does not take money from tuition or the state and is backed by the UC Investments office. UC Investments has about $100 billion in its investment portfolio, including a pension fund, an endowment and other capital pools.

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