Support for business development and commercialization opportunities takes a significant step forward with the creation of New California Ventures, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fresno State Foundation.

The entity was created to facilitate work that Fresno State’s Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s engages in with existing and start-up private companies to provide consulting services and some financial assistance to help launch private commercialization efforts. In addition, New California Ventures will work directly with central San Joaquin Valley entrepreneurs and Fresno State faculty researchers.

At a recent meeting, the Fresno State Foundation Board of Governors approved initial funding for the limited liability company (LLC) as it considers business and commercialization opportunities.

The foundation’s investment committee comprises the board of the LLC.  Its president is R. Stephen Heinrichs (B.S. Accounting ’68), who also serves as the investment committee chair.

“The goal of our foundation by creating this new LLC is to improve the chances of a successful start-up by providing seed money to move research forward or help finance the commercialization of a new product or service,” said Deborah Adishian-Astone, the foundation executive director and associate vice president of Fresno State’s Auxiliary Operations and Enterprise Development.

“The creation of New California Ventures follows a national trend for universities to have such separate entities, which, when successful, contribute to economic development and job creation in their community and region,” she said.

“Start-up and young companies have a difficult time attracting the capital they need to develop their ideas,” said Dr. Timothy Stearns, executive director of the Lyles Center. “Support from New California Ventures will provide much-needed financing to develop their product and make it attractive to investors.”

The Lyles Center has been successfully providing coaching, product development management and introductions to venture capital investment for more than five years.

Stearns said the Lyles Center will assist faculty, staff, students and community members in the preparation of materials for presentation to the LLC.

Contact the Lyles Center at 559.294.2045.

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