A Closer Look at University Angel Networks

Man and woman presenting to group

Three universities in North Carolina came together to discuss the emergence of university angel networks during the most recent Licensing Executives Society Chapter meeting. Duke, NC State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and other LES members attended the meeting to hear more about the success of the Duke Angel Network. The event was hosted by the LES RTP Chapter, led by Chapter Chair Dr. Kelly Sexton, Director of NC State’s Office of Technology Transfer.

John Glushik, Managing Director of the Duke Angel Network, delivered an engaging presentation detailing the network’s structure and progress to date. The network facilitates investments from Duke-affiliated angel investors into Duke-affiliated private companies. Formed in June of 2015, the network now has 75 angel members that have evaluated over 200 investment opportunities, including commercialization opportunities based on IP from the university. The network has invested over $2.3 million in 10 separate deals, with 4 deals currently in diligence. Glushik noted that the Duke Angel Network is actually helping to bring capital to the region. While only 4 of the 75 angel members live in North Carolina, 4 of the 10 deals done thus far have been with companies in the state.

Both UNC and NC State plan to launch their own angel networks, the Carolina Angel Network (CAN) and Wolfpack Investor Network (WIN), respectively, by the end of the year. These three university-led angel networks will collaborate as the Triangle Venture Alliance. Earlier this year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded $250,000 to the Triangle Venture Alliance, with the goal of facilitating investment by connecting alumni investors from Triangle schools with university-affiliated startup companies.

More from the event: