NKU Invests in Cintrifuse Fund

Northern Kentucky University President Geoffrey Mearns announced today that the University and the NKU Foundation have received an anonymous $1 million contribution to invest in Cintrifuse (http://www.cintrifuse.com).

The investment will be added to the Cintrifuse Fund of Funds, which invests in regional and national early-stage venture capital funds. Cintrifuse provides an avenue for corporations and venture capitalists to gain further insights into and engagement with the startup community in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.

The returns on the NKU’s Cintrifuse investment will support the NKU Fund for Excellence. The Fund for Excellence provides the university president the ability to support student scholarships, academic programs, study abroad opportunities, and continued innovation activities at NKU.

Griffin HallTim Schigel, manager of the $57MM Cintrifuse fund adds, “We’re very pleased to add Northern Kentucky University as an investor. They join 14 other corporations, foundations, and schools around the area who all want Greater Cincinnati to continue to be at the forefront of innovation. We think it’s great to add their voice to the conversation.”

Mr. Mearns said the Cintrifuse investment further demonstrates NKU’s commitment to supporting local innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Our strong academic programs and skilled faculty, students, and alumni make this region an attractive home for innovative companies large and small,” Mr. Mearns said. “And with outstanding initiatives like UpTech and Cintrifuse, the local entrepreneurship community has never been stronger.  This investment will provide new opportunities for our students and faculty to share their ideas with international leaders and investors in innovation.”

Other university programs supporting innovation and entrepreneurship include:

  • A unique partnership between the College of Informatics and UpTech (http://www.uptechideas.org), a Northern Kentucky-based accelerator connecting talent, funding, and ideas to support the region’s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem.
  • The Center for Applied Informatics (http://cai.nku.edu) is the outreach arm of the College of Informatics. It draws upon student and faculty expertise to develop technology-infused business solutions for local companies, startups, and nonprofits through websites, databases, mobile apps, web services, cloud solutions, and analytics.
  • The Haile/US Bank College of Business Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (http://ei.nku.edu), which provides students with skills and resources to navigate the startup process; connects students and experts with small businesses; and helps students and alumni locate resources to launch or grow their businesses.

Like each of these programs, the University’s $1 million Cintrifuse investment will support regional innovation and entrepreneurship. Cintrifuse connects the region’s high-potential, venture-backable startups to advice, talent, funding, and customers.

“The team at NKU have always been big proponents of the startup ecosystem. Their investment in the Fund and engagement with Cintrifuse solidifies their ongoing commitment to the region’s initiative of attracting and supporting entrepreneurs,” adds Nancy Koors, Cintrifuse interim CEO and Northern Kentucky resident.

The Cintrifuse robust network of supporters includes Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Duke Energy, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the University of Cincinnati.

“This gift has many benefits for NKU. First, the returns on this investment will support the NKU Fund for Excellence and provide opportunity to support student scholarships and programs. Second, it also allows Northern Kentucky University to join such a respected group of organizations in supporting Cintrifuse,” Mr. Mearns said.

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