RVC Seed Fund, TSU and DI-Group To Launch Joint VC Fund
April 25, 2017
In May 2017, RVC Seed Fund Ltd., Tomsk State University (TSU) and DI-Group holding company will launch a joint venture capital fund to finance and commercialize technologies and intellectual property developed by TSU scientists. The agreement is going to be signed at U-NOVUS, a Tomsk forum for young scholars. While RVC Seed Fund and TSU agreed to invest their capital, DI-Group will be a management company to run the venture. This decision is made based on the company's successful experience in funding hi-tech projects and managing investment funds HaxVentures (Russia) and HaxAsia (Singapore).

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Deputy CEO and Program Director of RVC, expressed his confidence in the success of the fund to be: "In RVC, we have always placed a great emphasis on developing robust university-based ecosystems. Here we follow the world's best practices. That is the reason in the year 2016 we have decided to create a joint VC fund together with TSU. Right now you can see this idea coming to life."

TSU rector Eduard Galazhinsky commented: "A university needs to play an active role and become part of the competitive market economy. For example, when it comes to intellectual property it should authorize some funds to be invested in pre-seed stage startups created by students. It is important to take this risk for future financial gain. Previously we did not have a proper instrument for such investments. Last year we offered RVC and DI-Group to commit to this project. This May we hope to sign an agreement and create a fund we've all been waiting for."

Konstantin Belyakov, TSU Vice-Rector for Innovation, specified that the fund is created as an investment partnership contract.

"This is the first University-backed VC fund in the whole country with a substantial amount of money to invest. We made sure to track, fire up and select the best of the best project teams ready to create innovative products. After DI-Group estimates their market potential and budgets they need for prototyping, they will get the funding required," added K. Belyakov.

Igor Kovalev, DI-Group Founder and President, also sees the joint VC fund as a fantastic opportunity to bring science inventions made by Russian scientists to international markets.

"Creation of such a VC fund is a huge step forward for our economy. It gives the best environment for breakthrough innovation to meet money while conforming to the expectations of investors. Teams will focus their ideas and get qualified investment managers to help them create and execute the best development strategies. By bringing together a powerful investor, a university famous for its innovations and an experienced management company, we create a truly unique partnership that can change the way startups are built", said I. Kovalev.

RVC is the Russian government's fund of funds and the development institute of the Russian Federation. Its RVC Seed Fund is focused on investing in Russian innovative companies with high growth potential in domestic and foreign innovation and technology markets. The Fund operated assets volume is up to $35 million.

Š¢omsk State University (TSU) is the oldest public research university in the Asian part of Russia. It is ranked 377th in QS World University Rankings 2016.