Tel Aviv University Sets Up VC Fund To Invest In Israeli Startups

By NoCamels Team April 15, 2018 Comments

TAU, Tel Aviv University, Tel AvivApril 15, 2018 | Tel Aviv University announced that it was setting up a new venture capital fund to invest in Israeli startups, the first Israeli university to make such a move. The fund, TAU Ventures, will invest in early-stage startups and will run various incubation programs in different tech fields, the university said. The first program off the ground focuses on cybersecurity and is run in partnership with Japanese multinational NEC Corporation. According to Globes, which cites sources close to the university, the fund will total some $20 million. TAU Ventures’ offices will be in Ramat Aviv and will be run by Nimrod Cohen, formerly of Plus Ventures, which led investments in a number of successful startups including YOTPO, Bringg, and WSC Sports, sold to Snapchat. TAU President Joseph Klafter said in a statement, “Tel Aviv University is the most innovative and entrepreneurial university in Israel and I am proud that we arrived at the next required step, with the establishment of TAU Ventures, the new investment vehicle of the university.” Klafner said the initiative sets the university “in line with the leading universities in the world,” like MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley, which also have venture arms. Cohen said that “the advantage of the fund will be [in] identifying unique opportunities in early stages and suggested added value to the entrepreneurs among the students and our alumni of TAU.” Among the investors in the fund are Singapore-based Chartered High Tech Fund, Maxine Commercial Capital in Los Angeles, and additional investors from Canada. Eyal Agmoni, the head of Chartered Group said, “we made this investment out of our strong belief in the Israeli high-tech industry in general, and from knowing that a big part of entrepreneurship in Israel [involves] Tel Aviv University.” Bahzad Kianmahd, the co-founder and acting chairman and CEO of Maxine Commercial Capital said, “As an enthusiastic person in higher education and the future of Israel, I am proud to be a part of a fund which will operate under the TAU umbrella.”

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