RightHill Ventures Launches to Accelerate the Journey from Research to Startup for University Innovations

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Beginning with Innovations from Brown University Researchers,
New Fund Will Build Companies from University Discoveries 

PROVIDENCE, RI February 22, 2022 RightHill Ventures, a new fund dedicated to providing seed-stage capital and other startup support, has launched specifically to target university research-driven ventures and founders, building from a beachhead at Brown University. RightHill Ventures was founded by the Slater Technology Fund, Rhode Island’s oldest and most active seed-stage investment fund, and is backed by a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. 

Some of the greatest companies are born out of university laboratories, but the journey from lab to startup can be arduous. Working in concert with a core of Brown-based groups and entrepreneurs, RightHill Ventures recruits key elements of a venture, drawing on the national pool of Brown industry and entrepreneurial talent, not only to prove out potential and build teams, but also to launch with seed funding catalyzed by RightHill.  

“Slater has invested in over 42 companies from Brown and URI alone, but our model has grown in recent years, when we began to assemble special-purpose vehicles for our portfolio companies, bringing much more capital to bear,” said Thorne Sparkman, managing director of Slater. “RightHill Ventures brings these patterns together.  Some folks may want to invest time, others may want to invest capital—we’re investing both in every deal and we want to take the friction out of the process for people who want to join us.”

“Innovation, collaboration and impact are hallmarks of great research institutions. That impact can be increased by connecting with the right investors and advisors to unlock a new discovery’s commercial potential,” said Neil Veloso, executive director of Brown Technology Innovations. “Funds that offer the right mix of capital, process and access to talent can help bring disruptive solutions to the market to solve some of the society’s most pressing challenges.”

RightHill Ventures is led by Slater’s Managing Director Thorne Sparkman and Slater Director Bob Chatham, who bring extensive experience and successful track records in technology company creation and investment. Other entities with which RightHill Ventures will work include the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Brown University’s Technology Innovations Office and Biomedical Innovations to Impact (BBII) Fund, Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, Brown Angel Group, RI Bio, and NEMIC.

“Game-changing innovations are being developed at Brown and other universities, and entrepreneurs are the ones who can drive them out of the labs and into the world,” said Thorne Sparkman. “RightHill Ventures will leverage the power of Brown’s research, along with the strength of the larger community. Nothing is more inspiring than the clarion call of an entrepreneur on a mission, and we want to amplify that call and turn it into action.”   

About RightHill Ventures

RightHill Ventures funds technology ventures with the most promising market opportunities emerging from university ecosystems. RightHill was founded by the Slater Technology Fund (“Slater”) to support startup teams by leveraging its network of experienced entrepreneurs, engineers, and technologists, and fund the early milestones with investment syndicates including Slater are open to alumni and friends of the university communities. For more information, visit www.righthill.vc.


For more information, contact:
Laura Nelson or Sage Morander
SVM Public Relations
[email protected]
[email protected]


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