"The purpose of the collaboration is to support the commercialization and deployment of LLNL inventions through new ventures and to provide enhanced deal flow to members of the angel investor network, the Keiretsu Forum," said Erik Stenehjem, the director of LLNL's Industrial Partnerships Office.
The memorandum of understanding will be presented Thursday afternoon by Stenehjem and Randy Williams, the founder and CEO of the Keiretsu Forum, at "Angel Capital Expo" on the Microsoft campus in Mountain View. (An angel investor is a private investor who invests in the funding of start-up companies.)
Both Williams and Stenehjem see a mutual benefit to the partnership. They believe that LLNL's mission of deploying its intellectual property in commercially valuable ways is advanced by the work of the Keiretsu Forum in structuring, investing in and implementing "go to market" strategies.
"At the Keiretsu Forum, we not only have capital, but critical resources and connections that can help these companies grow and mature to benefit the U.S. economy," Williams said. Under the MOU, LLNL and a group of Keiretsu members will develop a process under which Livermore technologies will be evaluated by Forum members as potentially valuable for commercialization and moved forward.
"The value proposition for us is the chance to showcase our technologies to the largest angel network in the world," Stenehjem said. "It is understood by both parties that the technologies made available are all publicly available, consistent with fairness of opportunity provisions."
The Keiretsu Forum is the world's largest angel investor network with 850 accredited investor members throughout 21 chapters on three continents.
Since the Keiretsu Forum's founding in 2000, its members have invested more than $260 million in technology companies, consumer products, healthcare/life sciences, real estate and other segments of the economy. In the Bay Area, the network has 365 members and four chapters (Silicon Valley, East Bay, North Bay and San Francisco).
The name of the Forum derives its name from the Japanese concept of members working together for the common good to help entrepreneurs grow to the next level.