CWRU Technology Ventures (CTV) is Case Western Reserve University's pre-seed technology validation fund. CTV focuses on creating and supporting new companies for the Northeast Ohio region by providing capital to early stage companies based on intellectual property developed at CWRU and its affiliate institutions. The fund was launched in November 2002 with support from an award from the Ohio Technology Action Fund and invests across technological boundaries: viewing life sciences, physical sciences, information sciences, and engineering technology based companies as equally attractive investment areas.
By providing funds to these companies at their earliest stages, CTV enables the development of prototypes, the creation of market assessments, and other activities that validate the viability of the technology the start-up proposes to bring to the commercial marketplace. By working with the existing business, investment, and entrepreneurial communities, CTV creates new businesses and new jobs, and increases the amount of early-stage capital available in the region.
In addition to providing investment capital, CTV provides an array of venture coaching and advisory services, working hand-in-hand with its portfolio companies to maximize their chances of success.
Financial support for CTV comes from investment returns from the first round of CTV investments, originally funded by Case Western Reserve University and the State of Ohio's Technology Action Fund.
Investment Focus and Structure
CTV focuses predominantly on pre-seed stage companies based on technology developed at and owned by CWRU and its affiliate institutions. These companies will often include the researchers among their founders, though this is not a requirement.
CTV invests in its portfolio companies in the form of convertible debt; this avoids the issues surrounding attempts to value companies at such an early stage of existence, and can offer benefits to the founders. In the event of a successful external financing, CTV will generally convert its debt to equity in the company. Investments made by CTV can reach up to $250,000 in size.