UCSD Rady Venture Fund - Develops Next Generation Tech Investors
Student-Run Fund Invests in Pharmaceutical Startup Savara
At UCSD, the Rady School of Management's student-run venture capital fund, the Rady Venture Fund, has participated in a $16 million Series B raise in startup Savara Pharmaceuticals, which is developing an inhalable antibiotic to treat cystic fibrosis patients with lung infections. The Rady Venture Fund's investment in Savara was made in conjunction with an investment by the Tech Coast Angels, the largest and most active angel investor network in the U.S. The investment provided Rady MBA students invaluable, hands-on investment experience in deploying investment capital to support emerging companies.
"Unique to MBA schools, the Rady Venture Fund was started to support the Rady School's educational objectives in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and translation of discoveries into the marketplace," said Lada Rasochova, Director, California Institute for Innovation and Development and Managing Director, Rady Venture Fund. "Students take a series of courses in new venture finance and venture capital management where they gain hands-on experience in conducting due diligence and making investment decisions. Each investment is reviewed and approved by an investment committee of experienced venture capitalists and includes at least one independent external investor."
"The Rady Venture Fund students are instrumental in the process of identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, such as Savara," said Sergio Gurrieri , investor and business advisor at Tech Coast Angels. "Their diverse backgrounds contribute a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to ensure investments are technically and fiscally sound."
"We are delighted to be a small part of the Rady vision to provide hands on experience to the Rady MBA students," said Rob Neville CEO of Savara Pharmaceuticals. "Industry leaders participated alongside students in a real deployment of investment capital, providing an excellent teaching opportunity. Savara has greatly benefited from the experience as well as access to the Rady network."
Rady student George Smith (MBA '13), a pharmaceutical scientist, explained that his work with the Rady Venture Fund fostered his exploration of a new career path. "As a Ph.D. scientist, who has been in drug discovery for a while, I wanted to expand my business skills and potentially start a company of my own," Smith said. "With this unique experience I have a much better grasp of how to seek initial startup funding and later, how to secure venture capital funding."
For Rady Alumnus Niall O'Donnell (MBA '06), a RiverVest Venture Partners principal, Rady Venture Fund life sciences investment committee member and advisor, the opportunity to mentor Rady Venture students was a rewarding experience. "The venture capital model is changing and the experience that the Rady Venture Fund provides students is a tremendous benefit to them and the region's emerging growth companies," O'Donnell said.
About the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego
The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego is a business school at the confluence of business, science and technology. Our MBA program encourages students to be visionaries who pursue the extraordinary, incubate new ideas, reinvent existing businesses and establish new companies.
SOURCE: Rady School of Management