Rowan Innovation Venture Fund appoints technology and investment leader as managing director

Rowan Innovation Venture Fund appoints technology and investment leader as managing director

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The Rowan Innovation Venture Fund, LLC appointed technology leader Howard Lubert as managing director, bringing the Fund one step closer to accepting applications for its first investments.

Established by the Rowan University Foundation in February 2014 with a $5 million commitment spanning five years, the Fund will accelerate the growth of Rowan’s research initiatives as it invests in University-generated technologies, intellectual property, inventions and businesses.

Angel and venture capital experience

Co-founder and area president of Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic, the local branch of the world’s largest private equity angel investor network, Lubert brings to Rowan more than 30 years of experience in business, angel and venture capital investing, and technical due diligence.  Keiretsu Forum has more than 1,100 accredited investor members in 34 chapters on three continents who have invested more than $490 million in early-stage companies in the last 15 years. 

“Howard Lubert’s expertise will be critical as we make our first investments and encourage innovative research and business initiatives,” said Dr. Ali Houshmand, Rowan’s president. “Rowan is committed to serving as an economic engine for the region, and this Fund will accelerate our efforts by serving as an important catalyst for growth.”

Increasing commercialization and technology development

Lubert will manage, operate and administer the Fund, ensuring the success of its investment ventures. Lubert, who among other positions was an adjunct professor and entrepreneur in residence at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and a fellow of Fox’s e-business Institute, will work closely with the Foundation Board and other University administrators and staff to increase Rowan’s commercialization and technology development efforts.

The Fund will provide individual investments ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 for pre-seed and seed-stage businesses, research initiatives and technologies developed by members of the Rowan University community, enabling Rowan’s faculty, students and alumni to bring their business ideas and research to life, according to Foundation Board Chair Joe Bottazzi. “The Foundation is deeply invested in supporting Rowan’s efforts to serve as a leader, and the Venture Fund is a tangible sign of this investment,” he said.

Added R.J. Tallarida, Jr., executive director of the Rowan University Foundation and associate vice president for University Advancement, “We believe that the success of the ventures funded will attract external donors who recognize the value of this initiative and will help grow the Foundation’s $5 million investment.”

Rowan on the move

“Rowan is an institution on the move, and I am excited to be a part of this initiative,” said Lubert, who also is the founder and managing partner/senior analyst at SafeHatch LLC, Wayne, Pennsylvania, a technical due diligence and business acceleration consultancy that supports startup and early-stage technology companies. “Entrepreneurial success in a university setting is about financial benefits, attracting top students and faculty, and adding an element of social impact to the University’s vision. This Fund is an investment not only in Rowan’s students, faculty and alumni, but also in the region and its future.” South Jersey researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for funding.

Lubert earned a B.A. in psychology and business from Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and an M.A. in school psychology from Rowan University.