“There’s a ton of things that can really impact the lives of everyone on Earth that don’t take it out of the lab and put it into practice,” said David Van Wie, founder and chief investment officer at Aventurine Capital Group. This is how he summarizes the problem he is trying to solve with his IP forward accelerator. He hopes that running businesses – and inventors and academics – will continue to do something she doing your best — is a winning formula.
Aventurine is targeting where venture capital doesn’t normally go: it comes in early to support people who aren’t natural entrepreneurs, and invests in long-term IP using what it calls a Perpetual IP Income fund, or PIPI fund . If it sounds like it’s the antithesis of rapid growth and timely exit, that would be correct. But the team believes that’s okay, and maybe VCs don’t need to be in a big hurry all the time after all.
“This is a researcher who has spent 20 years of his life chasing a certain thing,” said Joe Maruschak, the general manager of Aventurine’s investment studio. This is how he described who wants to finance Aventurine. “They got the bug for chemistry, and they’ve been doing chemistry all their lives. They got their PhD, got a job at the university and then discovered something.”
Central to Aventurine’s thesis is that academics need not be entrepreneurs to ensure that their discoveries or innovations can be developed and marketed to ultimately have an impact in the world. It recognizes that a researcher’s skills are not necessarily the same as a founder’s, and they shouldn’t be forced to learn how to do it overnight.