William C. Norris Institute

Innovation through Entrepreneurship

Inaugural William C. Norris Award for Social Entrepreneurship Presented to Norb Berg

Norb Berg, retired vice chairman of the board at Control Data Corporation, had the idea that led to the creation of the William C. Norris Institute in 1988. The University of St. Thomas honored Berg with the inaugural William C. Norris Award for Social Entrepreneurship at a luncheon on June 5, 2014.


Seven current portfolio companies have an estimated ROI over 300 percent

The William C. Norris Institute continues the legacy of the founder of Control Data Corporation by supporting the start up and growth of visionary companies in Minnesota. The Institute’s seed capital fund invests in innovative technology-based companies that are in the early stages of commercializing proprietary products and services. Breakdown of investments by industry:

  • Information technology (software or web) – 21 companies
  • Health (medical device, pharma, health care IT – 10 companies
  • Clean technology(environmentally safer products, resource conservation, alternative fuels) - 7 companies
  • Security – 2 companies
  • Consumer services – 2 companies
  • Consumer products – 1 company

Please review our criteria for investment on the Programs page and contact us if there appears to be a fit. See Portfolios page for descriptions of companies in which the William C. Norris Institute has invested.

Finance & Commerce honors Norris Institute with Progress Minnesota 2013 Award

The William C. Norris Institute was one of 27 recipients of Progress Minnesota 2013 awards on April 16, 2013. Institute director Mike Moore and Opus College of Business Dean Chris Puto accepted the award from Finance & Commerce Publisher Steve Jahn. Also receiving one of the awards was Wound Care Technologies Inc., a Norris Institute portfolio company represented by CEO Paul Anderson. At the Progress Minnesota 2012 awards two other Norris Institute portfolio companies were recipients: Entropy Solutions and ReconRobotics.

Since joining the University of St. Thomas in 2001, the Norris Institute has:

  • Invested in 43 new ventures, 21 of them founded by UST alumni
  • Invested a total of $3.9 million in seed capital, leading to over $28 million in additional capital for portfolio companies
  • Re-invested more than $900,000 from returns on investment

For more information

For further information or to submit a business plan executive summary for potential investment review, please contact:

Mike Moore, Director
(651) 962-4346
mike.moore@stthomas.edu