Early-stage venture capital firm Creator Fund has launched a $20m (£15.3m) fund to invest in university student founders creating “frontier technology” in areas such as quantum computing and robotics.
The fund has historically invested in deeptech startups across the UK but is looking to expand across Europe, with the ambition to “be the partner for any student founder from Stockholm to Zurich to Cambridge”.
Founded in 2019, Creator Fund has invested in 16 startups to date and provides assistance to them raising larger follow-on rounds.
Its team of investors are also university students, which means they can search for innovative startups to financially back on their university campus.
“There is a transformation happening at European universities, as the world’s best talent is deciding to pursue entrepreneurship,” said Jamie Macfarlane, founder and CEO of Creator Fund. “The R&D and technology emerging from our labs and classrooms has the potential to fundamentally change and improve the way we live and work.
“Our primary goal at Creator Fund is to be there early on, helping truly innovative PhD students build tech businesses based on scientific discovery or engineering innovation.”
Creator Fund has previously invested in the likes of visual machine learning startup Tenyks, brain to machine interface company Cogitat and Touchlab, a startup developing electronic skin for robots.
Its portfolio companies hail from universities across the UK, including Cambridge, Bath and Edinburgh.
It has over 70 limited partners, including the founders of Wayve, Faculty and Lastminute.com.
One of its portfolio companies is BaseImmune, an Imperial College London-based startup that recently raised a £3.5m funding round for its mutation-proof vaccines.
“Creator Fund has been a driving force in getting us to where we are today!” said Ari Gomes, founder of Baseimmune. “They helped our PhD founding team transition from the lab bench to running the company. From setting strategy, to making key introductions, and even helping us to grow personally and professionally. We feel much more confident with them.”