University of Michigan Accelerate Blue Fund

Kelly Sexton, Associate Vice President for Research, Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships

With over $1.6B in annual research expenditures, the University of Michigan is the nation’s leading public research university. U-M’s vast research enterprise is constantly giving rise to incredible new innovations — innovations that spark new industries, improve human life, and help solve society’s most pressing challenges.

Today you can assist in that mission, thanks to the Accelerate Blue Fund, a philanthropic investment fund recently approved by the Regents of the University of Michigan, to provide early-stage capital for U-M tech startups.

The University of Michigan’s vast research enterprise launches over 20 new startups per year. These startups create opportunities for U-M innovators and graduates, diversify the state’s economy, and make Ann Arbor a more dynamic entrepreneurial hub in the process. We can do better, though.

Many high potential U-M startups face a daunting challenge in raising the necessary early stage funding needed to succeed due to the lack of local risk tolerant seed capital. Data shows that startups based in the Midwest take nearly 2 years longer to secure their first $500,000 of investment capital compared to similar companies on the coasts. This lack of capital in Michigan slows the achievement of key business milestones and hinders startups’ ability to attract quality business leadership, often forcing companies to move out of state, expending valuable time and resources that could be better invested elsewhere. And, when these companies leave, Michigan misses out on the potential they possess to grow and fuel the region.

A donation to Accelerate Blue gives you the opportunity to amplify the impact of the innovations and discoveries created at the nation’s leading public research university. Through your donation to the Accelerate Blue Fund, you will be helping to create the kind of entrepreneurial environment U-M deserves.

All returns from Accelerate Blue investments will cycle back into the fund, creating an evergreen source of early-stage, patient, high-impact investment capital for U-M startup companies in the future.

While we are seeking a total of $20M, every contribution will make a difference. Please consider making a donation today, and letting your fellow U-M alumni know about this opportunity to help our early-stage U-M startups launch successfully and change the world. All donors to the fund will receive frequent updates on the Fund’s performance and its portfolio companies.

The Founders Circle
Donors who make a significant contribution to the Accelerate Blue Fund will be invited to join the Founders Circle. Founders Circle members will be included in exclusive networking events held on campus to meet with portfolio company teams and University leadership. Founders Circle members will have early visibility to a curated portfolio of promising startup companies emerging from the innovation ecosystem at the nation’s largest public research university.

Video placeholder image of Rob Bronstein, The Scion Group

Rob Bronstein, Chair, Accelerate Blue Founders Circle

Accelerate Blue in the News

If you are interested in supporting the Accelerate Blue Fund philanthropic effort, please click the donate now button or contact us at:

Go Blue!