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14 February 2024·2 min read

Lisa Palchynska

Editor-in-Chief, Vestbee

Warsaw University of Technology launches VC to support deeptech startups

In January, Warsaw University of Technology Investment Factory (WUT IFwas launched. It is the first Polish VC, created by the public university. The fund is targeting $5 million, aiming to back deeptech startups originating from universities across Poland.

  • The creation of WUT IF was initiated by Robert Sitnik, one of the VC’s general partners, who has worked at the Warsaw University of Technology for over 20 years. His decision, as he told Sifted, was driven by the desire to see the technology they research being used and commercialized.
  • Other general partners include entrepreneurs Karol Matczak, who serves as a CEO at the newly-founded VC, Jakub Wojciechowski, and Paweł Zych, Head of Department at the Institute of Applied Research at Warsaw University of Technology.

“We have estimated that around 5% of the population of students and researchers at universities have entrepreneurial inclinations, and these are the people that we’re addressing… this is significant potential which hasn’t been used or explored,” Karol Matczak, explained to Sifted. 

  • WUT IF wants to invest in 18 pre-seed and seed deeptech startups, founded by university graduates, in the next three years. The tickets will range from $120,000 to $260,000. Instead, the fund will take from 5-20% equity in startups.
  • Apart from the funding, WUT IF will provide the startups with technical expertise and access to numerous scientists and research teams within the university, assisting projects on their growth path.
  • As Sifted pointed out, the target ticket size of WUT IF is relatively small for the deeptech sector. That is why the GPs' idea is to co-invest with other funds, primarily contributing technical knowledge.

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