UH News

Cleveland Institutions, state pool $6 million to launch businesses

Friday, December 21, 2012

Funds first steps moving Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center technologies and treatments to market

Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the Ohio Third Frontier Program are committing $6 million to fund early-stage companies that turn research and emerging treatments, technologies and services at the Cleveland-based institutions into Ohio businesses.

The state agency will provide $3 million for pre-seed money during the three-year-life of the Case Technology and University Hospitals Ventures Fund (CTUHV Fund). Case Western Reserve will contribute $2 million and UH Case Medical Center $1 million, the largest commitments to pre-seed investments in their histories.

The goal is to provide a professionally-managed, pre-seed fund that will capitalize on the institutions’ immense investments in medical technology related to imaging, surgical instruments/equipment, implant devices and regenerative medicine; business and healthcare software; advanced materials; and fuel cell and energy storage technologies.

“The CTUHV Fund is predicated on the success of Case Technical Ventures, Northeast Ohio’s first seed fund of this kind, created in 2003,” said Joe Jankowski, assistant vice president for Technology Transfer at Case Western Reserve. “The CTV established a myriad of active companies employing 120 full-time employees in the region, and which leveraged investments of more than $91 million—a 53-to-1 ratio compared to the $1.7 million in pre-seed money.”

Stephen Behm, director of technology management at UH Case Medical Center, said the fund will capitalize on the healthcare expertise and patient care found at the medical center. “UH Case Medical Center is a world leading research-oriented healthcare institution that has a strong history of commercializing research. Our physicians are on the leading edge of developing new techniques and therapies in the pursuit of our mission: ‘To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.’ and this fund will help bring some of these discoveries to market for the benefit of patients.”

In this new fund, the university will integrate contributions from entrepreneurial students across multiple schools as well as from regional collaborators JumpStart, BioEnterprise and North Coast Angel Fund.

Investments will be made in both new companies and companies recruited to Ohio that have strong ties to the institutions and/or have forged a formal relationship with the Ohio Third Frontier Entrepreneur Signature Program (ESP) and the collaborators.

“We can provide a one-year runway to get off the ground,” said Jankowski, who will manage day-to-day operations of the CTUHV fund. “Entrepreneurs who want to turn our technologies into businesses, we have the ability to partner.”

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