Edinburgh Uni invests further £6m in its own start-ups and spin-outs

Hamish Mair
Hamish Mair

The University of Edinburgh has approved a £6m recapitalisation of its in house venture capital fund Old College Capital (OCC), which provides growth and development finance into companies associated with the University.

The Fund was established in 2011 with support from the University and its Endowment and works in partnership with investors who are interested in high growth potential businesses.

Currently the fund invests an average of £250,000 in each company, and adopts a ‘co-investment model’, working alongside venture capitalists, angel groups and corporate investors.

OCC has an independent investment committee and operates on a fully commercial basis.

Hamish Mair, chair of OCC’s investment committee said: “External investors have welcomed the fund and take confidence that the University is backing its own companies and sharing the risk. OCC’s investment partners can work with a trusted partner with the ability to follow-on its investments and benefit from the University’s in-depth knowledge of our investee businesses.”

Since 2011 Old College capital has invested £2m into ten student start-ups and academic spin-outs across a broad range of sectors. This investment leveraged a further £18m from private sector commercial co-investors. This recapitalisation takes the total fund to £8m.

The University’s Director of Corporate Services, Hugh Edmiston, added: “The reinvestment demonstrates a continued commitment by the University and its Endowment to back growth businesses from the University’s ecosystem by providing essential capital at an exciting and critical point in their development.”

The university has come under severe criticism this week from significant portions of its students and employees for its decision not to withdraw from its investment concerns in the fossil fuels industry.

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