William C. Norris Institute

Innovation through Entrepreneurship


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 – 2 companies

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.

Portfolio company Streamline acquired by Medovex Corp.

Streamline Inc., a company co-founded by brothers and former St. Thomas entrepreneurship students Peter and Sam Blankenship, was acquired by Atlanta-based Medovex Corporation, a company that buys and develops medical technologies. Streamline created an IV suspension system that transitions from an infusion stand to a suspended, securely locked part of any bed or stretcher, in seconds. The William C. Norris Institute was in the first round of investments, providing $100,000 of seed capital. Streamline represents the institute’s ninth positive portfolio return.


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

  • Invested in 47 new ventures, 23 of them founded by St. Thomas students and alumni
  • Invested more than $4 million in seed capital, leading to over $58 million in additional capital from later investors
  • a projected total exit value of equity in portfolio companies of $12.5 million

For more information

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

Bruce Nordin
Executive Fellow & Director

(651) 962-4092