By Ron Dewey

ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – The University of Michigan has announced a new program where the university will invest endowment funds in its own start-up businesses.

University President Mary Sue Coleman says the Michigan Investment in New Technology program will help accelerate businesses that can contribute to the state’s economy.

“It’s a way, I think, to invest in ourselves and invest in ideas, diversify the portfolio,” said Coleman, speaking at a breakfast Wednesday morning. “Because this is a little bit earlier investing than we would do in companies and I’m just very excited about the program.”

Coleman explained that the university will invest up to $500,000 from the endowments fund into start-ups out of the labs of faculty members.

“When we do the historical analysis we discovered that the returns would have been good,” Coleman said. “I mean, not every company is a success. There’s some failures, but some are spectacular successes.”

“We’re not picking winners and losers. That’s what I like about the program,” she said.

The program is also expected to secure the U of M’s position as a research university.

– More on this story on U-M’s web site –

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