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CSU announces $1.5 million Venture Capital Fund

In an email addressed to the Colorado State University community, it was announced Mon. May 13 that $1.5 million dollars has been approved for the Colorado State University System Venture Capital Fund.

Martin said he has helped two other Universities through similar programs and has seen great success.

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This program is intended to provide funding for ideas that otherwise wouldn’t get a second look, according to CSU System Chancellor Mike Martin.

Anyone, even individuals, students and employees can submit ideas to the CSU Systems Office for review, but they must be connected to the CSU community. Kyle Henley, CSU’s director of  Denver public relations, said this is a way to bring out the ideas that may otherwise, may not surface from those at the university.

“This is a way to tap into this talent to bring up ideas that reside within the CSU system,” Henley said.

“The goal of this new venture capital fund from the CSU System is to incubate and nurture ideas, programs and innovations that will make us better and help build a more durable and entrepreneurial university system that will continue to serve Colorado now and in the future,” Chancellor Mike Martin wrote in a press release sent to The Collegian.

Martin wrote that state funding for higher education has dropped $160 million since 2009. He said this decrease in state funding is the main reason for the tuition increases at CSU.

With a tuition increase of nine percent for the fall, and the availability of Pell Grants decreasing, the question is raised why this $1.5 million is not being put towards scholarships.

Martin said that the idea that is approved could generate scholarships but it is up to the CSU community to propose it.

“Maybe it will be a way to reduce expenses in other parts of the university,” Martin said.

“We must seek out new ideas and innovations that help the system improve, meet the needs of the next generation of students and support the long-term economic health of Colorado,” Martin wrote in his e-mail.

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The funding for the Venture Capital Fund is coming from CSU’s Global Campus. The Global Campus was created in 2009 to better serve adult learners who cannot come to campus, and as a strategic funding initiative according to Henley.

Martin explained that CSU Global was created with the intent to generate surplus revenue, which is what it is currently doing. This surplus is where the $1.5 million is coming from.

“(CSU’s System Venture Capital Fund) is meant to bring up some of the better ideas and improve the system as a whole,” Henley said.

Anyone interested in submitting an idea can find the form at the CSU Systems website – www.csusystem.edu. The first round of proposals is due to the CSU System office by June 10, 2013, with funding available after July 1, 2013, according to the email sent to the CSU Community.

Senior Reporter Corrie Sahling can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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