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Harvard pulls plug on ITU Ventures

itu.jpg
Continuing the story on venture capital woes, we've just found out that Harvard University has pulled the plug on another venture fund, this time ITU Ventures III.

The firm raised its $120 million third fund last year to invest in technology companies. But Harvard saw three people leave, and decided it was "strike three." Harvard, the lead investor in the fund, has sent an email to other investors about its decision to pull out, and so some of these others also seem to be pulling out.

We may be sitting at the center of the venture capital universe here in Silicon Valley, but elite East Coast universities such as Harvard and Yale make many of the life and death decisions about venture firms. The pressure by big investors on venture firms is largely an unwritten story. If you are pitching a VC, and his eyes look shifty, don't take it personally. Realize he may be under even more pressure than you are!

We reached co-founder Chad Brownstein, who said the firm itself will remain open, but that he couldn't comment on the status of the third fund for confidentiality reasons. "Everyone's happy," he said. "The firm is doing great, we're moving along."


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