Momentous First Year for U-M’s Accelerate Blue Fund
It’s been another momentous year for the Accelerate Blue Fund (ABF), the evergreen investment fund for U-M startups. ABF aims to bridge the funding gap between initial launch and angel/VC funding and invests exclusively in tech startups based on licensed U-M intellectual property. The Fund is being raised through the generous philanthropic support of U-M alumni as well as foundations and corporations interested in accelerating the success of U-M startup companies.
The Fund has now raised over $3M in donations. ABF’s most recent donations came from Roger and Carin Ehrenberg, Melvyn Yeo, and Jonathan and Ashley Oberheide. Roger Ehrenberg is the founder of IA Ventures and long standing member of Forbes’ Midas list. Melvyn Yeo is co-founder and director of TriTec, an investment holding company concentrated on renewable energy and cleantech investments focused primarily in Asia Pacific and North America. Jonathan Oberheide is co-founder and former CTO of Duo Security, while Ashley most recently held two Director roles at the company.
After raising its first close and subsequent capital, the team at the ABF wasted little time putting some of the money to work by making investments into two startup companies. ABF’s first investment was in Movellus, a system-on-chip startup that launched out of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). In November, cloud-based 3D printing software company Ulendo became the second U-M startup in ABF’s portfolio. ABF’s investment in Ulendo’s seed round will help the company further develop its software solutions for additive manufacturing.
U-M has a financial interest in some of the companies featured through licensing agreements or investments.