Case Study
May 31, 2017

Powering Innovation

When a leading university sought to create a startup accelerator and venture capital fund to provide promising early stage companies with office and lab space, specialized equipment, mentors and networking opportunities, the university turned to Goodwin to help create it.


Startup companies pursuing innovative technologies can struggle to move past the initial development phase and achieve commercial viability. Whether in biotechnology, robotics, manufacturing, medical devices or energy, real breakthroughs require time and patient capital to bring to market. To address these challenges, the university enlisted Goodwin’s team to create an accelerator that makes transformative technology concepts a reality.

Our approach

The university’s tax-exempt status presented a host of novel challenges in establishing the accelerator and companion venture capital fund. Goodwin tapped an experienced cross-practice team to develop a structure that would accomplish the aims of the accelerator while addressing concerns related to the university’s tax-exempt status and minimizing unrelated business income consequences.


The creation of the accelerator will provide critical support and financing for as many as 60 area startups. The university invested in the fund as a limited partner and also attracted additional money from outside investors. In the long term, the expectation is that this availability of resources and funding will encourage innovation to attract and retain talent in the region.