Investment funds support university commercialisation


AusBiotech welcomes the announcement of two new university-specific investment funds, totalling $115 million, created in collaboration with Tanarra Capital, the University of Melbourne and Victorian State Government-funded Breakthrough Victoria.

The $100 million Tin Alley Ventures Fund led by Tanarra Capital, which the University of Melbourne is contributing $25 million, will invest in high-potential University of Melbourne-affiliated start-ups, provide support from the seed stage through to pre-IPO and engage the University’s alumni and supporters to help investee companies reach their full potential.

Breakthrough Victoria and Tanarra Capital will manage and contribute $7.5 million each to the second Fund, Genesis Pre-Seed. The $15 million Fund will support early-stage start-ups created by the University’s academics, students or alumni and will facilitate access to the University’s networks and mentoring to create seed-fund-ready companies.

The two Funds will embed dedicated venture capital into the University and enable start-ups’ pathway to commercialisation. Both Funds will be open to University of Melbourne students, University-affiliated organisations and alumni to accelerate their research innovation and commercialisation journeys.

Tanarra Capital founder and CEO John Wylie said, “Tanarra has a long track record in investing in venture capital. This is one of the most exciting things we’ve ever done and we’re so proud to be partnering with the University of Melbourne in doing this. We know the potential, the people and the smarts are there, so this is about lighting the match and making it really come to life.”

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said, “Universities have a social responsibility to make a difference in the world, and one way we do this is through translating our research into public good … Our two new Funds will play a critical role in supporting researchers to take more risks, to be creative in their thinking and accelerate the possibilities to take research discoveries from an idea to market.”

Breakthrough Victoria Chair John Brumby added, “The creation of the Genesis Pre-Seed Fund with the University of Melbourne will amplify and accelerate the support for commercialisation of important research from the University of Melbourne. The Genesis Pre-Seed Fund reinforces Breakthrough Victoria’s strategy to support investment so that research with strong commercial potential does not falter during the early stages.”

Expressions of interest for the University of Melbourne’s Genesis-Seed Fund are open and Tin Alley Ventures Fund will be open for applications in late 2022.