CTV's investment process was developed based on an analysis of best-practices from across the investment and academic communities, particularly as they related to the funding of seed and pre-seed stage companies and technology validation activities. After studying programs from other academic institutions, professional venture investors, and the financial services industry, and combining the best elements of each, CTV's process was specifically tailored to its planned activities, and enables future reference, benchmarking, and review. The CTV process is a multi-phase procedure, with go/no-go decision points at the end of each phase. This process is summarized below.
Phase One: Triage
Opportunities will come directly to CTV from a representative of the University's Technology Transfer Office (the “TTO Lead”) for consideration. An initial screen is conducted by the CTV Managing Director to assess the opportunity's potential across a number of core criteria including its association with CWRU or an affiliate institution. For example, an agreement related to the intellectual property developed at CWRU should be in place, or close to execution, prior to submission for consideration by CTV.
Phase Two: Initial Review
Following the Triage of the opportunity in Phase I, the CTV Managing Director in concert with the TTO Lead will meet with the proposed principals of the new company to perform a more detailed review. The goal of this phase of the process is to assess the potential for CTV to effectively work with the inventors and proposed principals to validate and commercialize the technology. This phase involves an examination of the market, technology, and commercial potential of the opportunity (among other factors).
Phase Three: Detailed Review
Following the Initial Review, the CTV Investment Committee conducts a detailed review of the opportunity with the goal of determining the amount of funding the technology validation and business creation efforts will require. Following the completion of this phase, a detailed business and financial plan is created along with a recommendation to fund or pass on the opportunity. Those that are selected for funding move to the next phase in the process.
Phase Four: Funding
Opportunities successfully completing the first three phases of the CTV investment process are routed by the CTV Managing Director through specific internal procedures necessary to enable funding. Recommendations to fund are prepared in the form of a detailed, formal report that will include background on the opportunity and the technology, documentation of all due diligence activities, and a recommended funding level. Opportunities recommended for funding also must have a license or option to the technology from CWRU’s Technology Transfer Office executed prior to the deployment of funds
Phase Five: Monitoring & Reporting
All CTV portfolio companies are closely monitored by the CTV Managing Director and the Technology Transfer Office. This includes a review of quarterly or monthly financial statements, active participation on the company's board by a CWRU representative, and ongoing guidance and assistance including mentoring, introductions to other funding sources, assistance with executive recruiting and retention, and advice on subsequent financing rounds and other business issues.