The lack of early-stage investors has meant universities are having to follow on the help given to their start-ups.

The lack of early-stage investors has meant universities are having to follow on the help given to their start-ups. Rick Silva, director of the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office (UCTTO), said: "Private investment is waning for early stage investment. Universities have been pulled into the realm of technology maturation to fill a void in early stage investing." Since 2004, UCTTO has deployed $11.5m to fund 139 projects, of which eight have become companies and 44 licensed or optioned by investors, according to Silva. These eight start-ups include healthcare company Taligen Therapeutics, which was seeded by UCTTO before receiving $70m in venture capital funding and exiting to peer Alexion Pharmaceuticals last year for $111m.

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