October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

The Research Institution GAP Fund and Accelerator Program Summit

Oregon’s First Commercialization Gap Fund to Support Science and Invention Based Startups

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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

The Fund made 15 investments in 12 months, with check sizes varying from $50,000 to $250,000—supporting key points in business development and providing companies with the capital to hit their technology milestones. Of these startup companies, one-third are led by women, and 27% have minority or immigrant founders.

Through Elevate Capital’s work with the Gap Fund, the process has exposed a dire need for capital for Oregon’s early-stage companies coming out of its research institutions.

“What we discovered in this process is how much innovation is being left on the table as these companies are underserved and starved for capital,” said Nitin Rai, Founder and Managing Partner at Elevate Capital. Elevate Capital will be reapplying to be the fund manager of the Business Oregon fund for the 2021-2023 biennium to continue working towards funding these underserved entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas.”

Gap Fund Companies Raise Additional Outside Investments and Grant Funding

Elevate Capital’s support and management of the Commercialization Gap Fund have been integral to helping companies continue to raise additional funding. Gap Fund companies have gone on to raise over $4 million in outside investments and $4.5 million in grant funding.

Elevate Capital achieved all this despite the Gap Fund nearly disappearing due to the COVID-19-pandemic-induced economic downturn.

Elevate Capital leveraged its internal resources and built a compelling pipeline of candidates in collaboration with the State’s Signature Research Centers and academic institutions. This funding has proved integral to the early success of the companies listed below:

  • biomotum is developing a soft robotic exoskeleton to improve walking function in patients with mobility impairments.
  • CytoImage uses high-throughput single-cell functional screening for individualized, target immunotherapy.
  • HOLO Footwear is creating a “sustainable and attainable” footwear brand using 100% recycled material and targeting diverse demographics.
  • LeapFrog Design has miniaturized wetland to a container size that can efficiently clean and recycle household greywater while adding aesthetic value to the home.
  • LifeAir is pioneering a new, disposable ventilator to reduce or eliminate ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
  • Magwire is enabling the next generation of flexible electronics using Transparent Conductive Films (TCFs).
  • NeuroBiome is developing an organ onto a chip to replicate the connection between the gut and the nervous system.
  • ProMedix is developing a point of care sensor to diagnose and monitor sepsis.
  • ReNewCat is developing a new process for efficiently creating plant-based oleofuran surfactants.
  • Rewire Neuro is using AI and computer vision to improve the speed, accuracy, and precision of digital pathology.
  • Skip Technology is developing a novel chemical flow battery to improve both electrical and economic efficiency of large-scale battery storage.
  • SomnoSeal device is an oral sealing device to prevent mouth leaking while using a nasal CPAP, improving overall treatment success.
  • Stonestable is developing a silica-based cage that will help make vaccines stable at room temperature.
  • Veana Therapeutics is developing effective cancer immunotherapies using its proprietary VIMO compound.
  • VitalFlo helps leading clinicians and researchers improve patient outcomes and advance lung health by providing comprehensive respiratory data, analysis, and care.

Source: Elevate Capital Innovation Gap Fund: Oregon’s First Commercialization Gap Fund to Support Science and Invention Based Startups

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