For members of the Duke community interested in entrepreneurship, access to start-up funding and networking support is now a little easier.
The University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative has announced the launch of a Duke angel network—designed to connect entrepreneurs in need of funding with “angel” investors able to meet their needs. A new philanthropic fund known as the Duke Innovation Fund will invest in start-ups created within the network, creating an even larger pool of capital.
Over the last two years, the I&E Initiative has worked to develop a variety of resources to help Duke’s entrepreneurs translate their ideas into action. Until now, however, the funding to put these individual ideas into practice has been difficult to secure.
“The piece that’s really been missing, the piece that sort of squares the circle and brings it all together, is access to money for early stage innovation,” said Eric Toone, professor of chemistry and of biochemistry and the leader of the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative.
The network will exist on a website open to anyone with a Duke affiliation, including alumni, faculty, students and staff. Individuals interested in investing will be able to browse through different options and connect with the teams behind the projects.