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Duke Angel Network is now Duke Capital Partners

Duke University’s early-stage venture investment arm, Duke Angel Network, is now Duke Capital Partners. Duke Capital Partners provides capital and expertise to help Duke startups, and features one of Duke’s most innovative experiential learning opportunities for students. As one of the largest and oldest university investment entities of its kind, Duke Capital Partners consistently places among the top five in North America. 

As part of the Board of Trustees’ review of Research, Translation and Commercialization at Duke, Duke Capital Partners’ strategic move to the Office for Translation & Commercialization optimizes its contributions to Duke’s innovation ecosystem and enhances its members’ meaningful engagement with Duke innovators and entrepreneurs.

“Duke Capital Partners operates under the assumption that our value to Duke goes far beyond being a source of capital,” said Kurt Schmidt, Managing Director of Duke Capital Partners. “Our Operating Team, members, and Associates work in lock step with faculty, student, and alumni founders to commercialize innovative technologies that are poised to change the world.” 

Duke Capital Partners has experienced impressive growth since its inception in 2015, making significant investments in Duke innovations, and forging important partnerships with its portfolio companies, as advisors and board members. Duke Capital Partners has deployed more than $50 million in capital, more than a third of which was deployed in just this past fiscal year.  

However, Duke Capital Partners is far more than the capital it deploys. Its most impactful investment is into its student Associates who gain first-hand exposure to all aspects of the venture investment process, a lens into startup operations, and professional experience unique within an academic institution. Duke Capital Partners is also an innovative alumni engagement platform which invests in strengthening the global network of alumni, parents, and friends of the University. These partnerships work synergistically to bring exciting new technologies to market to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

Duke Capital Partners’ strategic move to Duke’s Office for Translation & Commercialization is already bearing fruit. Duke Capital Partners’ Operating Team and investor members have greater insight into the innovation pipeline at Duke University, and are able to provide input on early-stage technology and startup development.

“Adding Duke Capital Partners to the OTC group enables us to provide Duke Capital Partners members with more opportunities to review potential startup investments, as well as to engage these members, most of whom have considerable industry and investment experience, to act as advisors to faculty entrepreneurs and to OTC as it considers its own investment into early-stage innovations,” said Robin Rasor, Associate VP for Translation & Commercialization. 

To learn more about Duke Capital Partners, please visit