October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

OHSU Funds Venture Firm to Raise $100M Life Sciences Seed Fund

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Oregon Health & Science University is collaborating in a new venture capital fund that’s the only one in the state focused on health care and life sciences.

OHSU is paying Allegory Venture Partners up to $1.2 million over a two-year period to support the fund’s launch and operation. Allegory is attempting to raise at least $40 million over that time, with an eventual target of $100 million for seed and follow-on funding in emerging life science companies.

Allegory will be able to examine new technologies from OHSU research programs. The university will disclose certain start-up opportunities to Allegory on a non-exclusive basis.

“This is an outgrowth of our commitment to increase collaboration with private industry in ways that leverage resources,” OHSU President Dr. Joe Robertson said in a statement. “In particular, we think it is vital for the next phase of bioscience growth in Oregon that we have a home-grown and locally headquartered venture capital fund. This is an effort to address that need.”

Allegory and the fund will be independent of OHSU, which will have no role in its operations or investment strategy. OHSU will get a quarter of the distributions, said partner Thomas DeSouza, a former financial adviser at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Portland.

“There’s no promise of dollars allocated to OHSU technologies,” DeSouza said. “We’re completely independent and objective.”

DeSouza said he expects to build a portfolio of life sciences companies with unique and valuable product opportunities, strong management teams and clear paths to market.

This would include companies involved in medical devices, health care IT and diagnostics, rather than those going through lengthy FDA trials to develop compounds and vaccines.

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