Obama administration announces its i6 challenge proof of concept center recipients

By | September 24th, 2012|New Fund Announcement, State or Government Supported|

Undoubtedly from the recommendations from the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE), and other works directed at the  promise of proof of concept centers like the IMPACT paper, “The i6 Challenge is a multi-agency grant that encourages and rewards innovative, groundbreaking ideas that accelerate technology commercialization, new venture formation, job creation, and economic growth across the United States. […]

Utah’s Tech Commercialization and Innovation Program invests $600K in 15 more projects

By | September 24th, 2012|New Investments/Awards, State or Government Supported, Utah|

Fifteen promising innovative technologies just got a $40,000 boost. For the first round of the new fiscal year, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) approved $600,000 of grants in support of new technology and research that universities and university licensees are seeking to take to market. The grants are designed to help build companies and create quality new jobs from groundbreaking innovation. […]

European Research Council funds 33 new proof of concept projects

By | September 17th, 2012|New Investments/Awards, State or Government Supported, World Economies|

The European Research Council (ERC) will release a new round of proof of concept grants to 33 research projects. Each project will receive EUR 150,000 that is put towards commercial translation such as IP dilligence, market research, and commercial validations. There was a yield rate, or projects funded vs proposed, in this round of 44%.

‘The “Proof of Concept” scheme is gathering speed,’ adds President of the ERC, Professor Helga Nowotny. ‘With relatively little investment, it helps to harvest the very best ideas coming from frontier research, and takes them one decisive step further in the direction of potential innovation. This new funding initiative has also inspired more of our grantees to explore the possibilities of the results and findings they have obtained. It leads them to ask the question: “What follows from my research?” In the longer term, such a change in attitude will be good for Europe and will strengthen links between research and society.’  […]

Marblar aims to support university commercialization through competitions and crowdsourcing

By | September 17th, 2012|Competition, England|

Some crowdsourcing competitions, like the X-Prize, ask people to come up with technological solutions to a problem. Marblar, a startup launching this month, is doing it backward—asking people to come up with problems that a given technology could solve. […]

Portland Seed Fund touts third round of start-ups, raising a second fund

By | September 17th, 2012|New Investments/Awards, Oregon, State or Government Supported|

Funding: $3 million from private and public sources, including $800,000 from the city of Portland, $250,000 from Hillsboro and $500,000 from the Oregon Growth Account (funded by state lottery dollars).
The plan: Seed two dozen companies over two years with initial funding of $25,000 apiece. Follow up with additional funding for the most promising companies from the group.
Managers: Bridge City Ventures, led by business consultant Angela Jackson and venture capitalist Jim Huston.
Structure: State law forbids direct municipal investment in private companies. So the Portland Development Commission granted general fund money to a board that oversees the investment. Any investment returns from the fund won’t go back to the city or PDC, but they could be used for further economic development or invested in another seed fund.
What’s next: The seed fund just named its third class of eight companies. It plans one more class early next year, and hopes to raise $5 million for a second fund by the middle of 2013.

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Excerpts from “Managing the Gap Fund Process” Event

By | September 10th, 2012|Uncategorized|

Last week, we held our second event in the Gap Fund Managers iWorkshop Series that took a detailed look at the process behind runnning university-affiliated gap funds. Three of your colleagues

  • Michael Rusnak, U Rochester Medical Center
  • John Banta, illinoisVENTURES
  • Monique Yoakim-Turk, Children’s Boston

led us through their promotion, evaluation, decision-making (scorecards,advisory boards), and marketing associated with their funds.

I […]

U of New Hampshire awards innovation grant to coating company

By | September 10th, 2012|New Hampshire, New Investments/Awards, Proof of Concept, State or Government Supported, University-managed|

The Innovation Research Center at the University of New Hampshire has awarded a Granite State Technology Innovation Grant to ArgenTech Solutions, Inc. (AgTS) to help develop a high-performance, photoluminescent powder coating additive suitable for advanced safety and military applications.
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University of York offers proof of concept funding for social entrepreneurs

By | September 10th, 2012|England, New Fund Announcement, Proof of Concept, University-managed|

THE  University of York is to encourage a new generation of social entrepreneurs.

The university is one of 56 universities to take part in a pilot of a national programme to encourage the creation of social enterprises, self-sustaining initiatives to achieve social purposes rather than just make a profit. […]

IP Shakti, offers proof of concept approach and funds for life science and biomedical innovation

By | September 10th, 2012|Accelerator/incubator, New Fund Announcement, New Jersey, Proof of Concept|

IP Shakti, LLC, a Princeton based innovation fund, offers a new approach for investing in the early stages of life science and biomedical innovation.

University inventors often face the “valley of death” funding gap when they look to develop a new innovation. IP Shakti is now an option for medical device innovators when venture capital and other funding sources are unwilling or unable help.

“The launch of IP Shakti could not come at a more critical time,” said Dr. Dipanjan Nag, CEO and President of IP Shakti. “Due to fundamental challenges in venture capital investing, early stage inventions in biotechnology and their corresponding smaller initial investment requirements are increasingly overlooked or rejected by venture capital in favor of more developed technologies. This exacerbates the “valley of death” funding gap after a startup company is created and before a steady stream of company revenue exists.” […]

U-M’s New Drug Discovery Center to Commercialize Research; provide seed grants

By | September 10th, 2012|Michigan, New Fund Announcement, Translational Research, University-managed|

Last week, the University of Michigan announced a new Center for the Discovery of New Medicines (CDNM) to help speed the school’s research findings to the marketplace. The new initiative is a cross-departmental effort to leverage resources like former Pfizer researchers, unique libraries of compounds, and a culture of data sharing to streamline early-stage drug discovery in an age where big pharma is increasingly reluctant to invest in it.

“Our goal is to really speed up drug discovery at the university,” says Rick Neubig, professor of pharmacology and director of the CDNM. “There’s tremendous interest in that here.”

Neubig says that though there’s a lot of cutting-edge work already being done at U-M in the area of drug discovery, it’s fragmented. The goal of the new center is to serve as a catalyzing hub for research scientists, where they can collaborate and connect with private-sector partners on the journey toward commercialization.

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