Creator Fund launches £15m fund to back student founders

Fund will invest in next generation of student founders in the British university deep-tech space

Creator Fund, an early-stage VC fund investing in deep tech emerging from UK universities, has launched a $20m (£15.3m) fund.

The VC, which was the first to implement the Silicon Valley-style model of investing in students across Europe, has also launched a smaller angel fund to invest in the next generation of frontier tech start-ups from leading Europe-wide universities.

The UK fund, called Fund II, is backed by over 70 investors including exited founders and European VCs and will serve start-ups building technology in areas such as AI, life sciences, robotics and quantum computing.

See also: Investors have £20bn to invest in much-needed lab spaces 

The VC has invested in 16 frontier tech start-ups to date, including Baseimmune, an Imperial College-based life sciences firm developing mutation-proof vaccines, and Touchlab, an Edinburgh-based company developing electronic skin for robots. Both companies went on to raise £3.5m each in later follow-on rounds.

Creator Fund’s unique model has also seen the fund train 80 students at 28 different universities to source and analyse start-ups on the ground. These student investors then go on to work at top-tier funds once they graduate.

Jamie Macfarlane, Creator Fund founder and CEO, said: “There is a transformation happening at European universities, as the world’s best talent is deciding to pursue entrepreneurship.

“The R&D and technology emerging from our labs and classrooms has the potential to fundamentally change and improve the way we live and work. Our primary goal at Creator Fund is to be there early on, helping truly innovative PhD students build tech businesses based on scientific discovery or engineering innovation.

“Second to that is the training of the next generation of investors. In the last two years I am proud to watch our portfolio companies thrive and our student investors become part of Europe’s best VCs, join our companies, and become LPs in CF.”

Further reading

Investment into university spinouts nearly doubled in 2021 

Dom Walbanke

Fred Mann

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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