Last week, partly as a result of those inquiries, Stanford announced that, in partnership with its hospital, the university will begin investing in companies founded by its own students. Scholar-entrepreneurs can now apply to a start-up incubator called StartX, which was itself created by students in 2009. Until now, StartX has mainly offered training and opportunities for networking, and office space just off campus. Now, accepted companies will also be offered university money. StartX accepts eight to ten per cent of applicants. If they’re good enough to get accepted, and good enough to raise at least half a million dollars with support from serious outside investors, they’re good enough for Stanford’s endowment. The university intends to fund about ten per cent of each investment round. The initial numbers will be small—think Ashton Kutcherwith palm trees—but Livingston expects that, in five years, the university will distribute between fifty and a hundred million dollars. In return, the school gets equity and, maybe one day, cash. This past spring, I joked that the university resembles “a giant tech incubator with a football team.” The football team is ranked fifth in the country; the incubator is surely ranked first.