Accel, Breyer Capital and Polaris Join Harvard-Area’s Experiment Fund
Accel Partners, Breyer Capital and Polaris Venture Partners became the newest partners in the seed-stage venture fund aimed at entrepreneurs in the Boston area.
The Experiment Fund, which already includes New Enterprise Associates, is “anchored” and was launched at Harvard University, although the famed school is not one of its funders.
New advisers were also added to the Experiment Fund, including former Harvard Law School professor and former director of the Berkman Center John Palfrey, Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Hugo Liu, as well as an ex-officio post created for the current president of Harvard Student Agencies.
The fund, which AllThingsD wrote about previously, was created earlier this year by the dean of the Harvard School of Engineering.
The early-stage incubator planned then to award funding to four to six start-ups, in amounts from $250,000 to $500,000, focused on the Cambridge, Mass., area around Harvard, which includes many other schools such as MIT.
The point has been to foster innovation around the Boston area, rather than watch those start-ups head west to seek funding. In other words, to keep the next Facebook — which was born there — from moving away to Silicon Valley.
In other words: Stay east, next young Mark Zuckerberg!
The new partners are contributing more funds, although they declined to specify the amount. Breyer Capital is the personal investment company of Accel’s Jim Breyer.
As part of adding the new partners, Breyer and Polaris’ Alan Crane will become “experts-in-residence” at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Breyer and Crane, by the way, both got their MBAs from Harvard.