The university’s new unit, which includes incubator, startup fund and brain trust, will be led by assistant vice president Joshua Espinosa.

Joshua Espinosa

Image of Joshua Espinosa, assistant vice president of RPI Ventures. Courtesy of LinkedIn.

US private research university Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is raising $10m for an investment arm called RPI Ventures, the American City Business Journals has reported.

RPI Ventures includes the Severino Centre for Technological Entrepreneurship, which is the university’s on-campus incubator, as well as a multimillion-dollar early-stage fund.

A network of venture advisers, industry experts, and venture capital law and accounting firms will be available for students and faculty who want to start a company. RPI Ventures also plans to create an off-campus incubator in the future to back companies working on areas including semiconductors.

Joshua Espinosa (pictured), who joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s office of intellectual property and technology licensing in January this year, will lead RPI Ventures as assistant vice president.

No timeline for the fundraising efforts is given but Espinosa told American City Business Journals that the unit will tap into the university alumni network to seek the capital.

Espinosa added that RPI Ventures will help streamline the technology licensing process, which is normally too expensive for pre-revenue startups.

“We want to allow [university spinouts] to have room to grow and have room for really better technology before we start demanding that they repay us for all of our investment in technology,” Espinosa was quoted as saying.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.