U-M's first startup investment goes to next-generation semiconductor memory firm

March 28, 2012

A University of Michigan startup marketing next-generation computer memory that could write 1,000 times faster than Flash is the recipient of U-M's first investment in one of its own startup companies.

This financial investment into Crossbar, Inc. kicks off a unique new initiative designed to help propel technologies into the and deliver strong returns on the university's endowment.

The Michigan Investment in Startups (MINTS) program, announced by President Mary Sue Coleman in October 2011, could inject up to $25 million during the next decade into select venture-funded U-M startups—new companies built around inventions born in faculty members' labs.

"MINTS is a revolutionary step forward for the entrepreneurial culture of the University," said Steve Forrest, U-M vice president for research. "Our investment in our own startups sends a powerful signal to our faculty, the industrial community, and investors everywhere that we believe in the quality of our start ups and of our faculty-student teams who take a chance to bring something all the way from a concept to a commercial reality that benefits society."

Crossbar, an advanced memory development company based in Santa Clara, Calif., is developing a new nonvolatile memory technology that will offer unprecedented density and power improvements in tomorrow's electronics.

"This certainly means a lot to us," said Wei Lu, associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and co-founder of Crossbar. "Investment from the university is a clear indication of their continued commitment to our technology and its potential impact of changing the future of the silicon industry. It also demonstrates the university's commitment to advancing new disruptive technology."

For a faculty startup to be eligible for a MINTS , a qualifying venture capital firm must lead a new round of financing. Crossbar met that criteria with a Series B round initiated by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as well as Artiman Ventures and Northern Light Venture Capital.

Crossbar was licensed in 2010. It is one of the nearly 100 startups U-M Tech Transfer has helped to launch during the past decade.

Explore further: Israeli, U.S. venture firms open joint lab

Related Stories

Israeli, U.S. venture firms open joint lab

March 2, 2006

An Israeli venture-capital firm and a U.S. venture-capital company announced Wednesday they would join forces to invest millions in 10 new tech startups.

Venture-cap investments decline 7 percent in 3Q

October 15, 2010

(AP) -- Venture capitalists poured less money into U.S. startups in the third quarter and split this among more companies, signaling that investors are trying to be more economical with their funds.

Venture-cap investments rise in 1Q

April 15, 2011

(AP) -- Funding to U.S. startups climbed during the first three months of the year, with venture capitalists putting more money into fewer companies, according to a study scheduled to be released Friday. Despite the decline ...

TechCrunch founder starts venture capital fund

September 2, 2011

(AP) -- Michael Arrington, founder of popular tech blog TechCrunch, is starting a venture capital firm with an initial $20 million to invest in the same kinds of startups that TechCrunch often covers.

Venture capital investments up 19 percent in 4Q

January 20, 2012

(AP) -- Funding for startups rose 19 percent in the fourth quarter as venture capitalists fueled money into more companies in the Internet, clean technology and other sectors.

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.