Elevate Capital Awarded Management of Business Oregon's Second Commercialization Gap Fund
PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Elevate Capital, Oregon's first inclusive venture capital fund that supports inclusion and diversity, has been selected by Business Oregon as the Fund Manager for their second Commercialization Gap Fund.
The Commercialization Gap Fund was initiated in 2020 after Business Oregon's Innovation Council (Oregon InC) studied capital gaps and found a need to support science and research-based companies in early stages of commercialization. There are few sources of capital or "gap funding" in Oregon for entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of commercialization due in part to the long-term nature of return expectations. In response to this issue, Oregon InC created the Gap Fund to focus on filling the "valley of death" and support commercialization of disruptive science and research technologies. The Gap Fund also intends to recycle investment back to Oregon InC to support additional companies as an evergreen program. The Gap Fund is a critical component of Oregon's 10-Year Innovation Plan.
Business Oregon, via Oregon InC, previously awarded Elevate Capital $2.5 million to manage the state's first Commercialization Gap Fund in 2020. This year, Elevate has been awarded $4.5 million for Gap Fund 2. For Gap Fund 1, Elevate Capital invested in 15 companies over a 12-month period, with check sizes ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. Of these startups, 29% are led by women and another 29% have BIPOC or immigrant founders.
For Fund 2, a $4.5 million State-financed Fund, Elevate Capital will invest in another 15 companies with larger check sizes from Fund 1, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000, and increased follow-on funding. Like the first Fund, Gap Fund 2 will invest in early-stage innovation across Oregon Innovation Council's target industries, such as life science, cleantech, sustainable resources, advanced manufacturing, and active lifestyle. Elevate Capital will continue leveraging its experience as an industry leader investing in underserved founders, an especially important effort in the hard sciences.
"Elevate Capital, through its work with the Gap Fund, exposed a dire need for capital for Oregon's early-stage companies coming out of its research institutions," said Nitin Rai, Founder and Managing Partner at Elevate Capital. "As the manager of the Gap Fund, Elevate Capital provides not only capital, but mentorship and business guidance as well — we help companies achieve key technical and business development milestones. Achieving these goals is a critical step for Gap Fund companies to successfully raise additional capital from private angel and venture capital investors."
"We are proud to have earned Business Oregon's trust and excited for the opportunity to continue collaborating towards our shared goal of supporting early-stage founders in Oregon," said Ben Nahir, Venture Principal at Elevate Capital. "Our first cohort of companies have done incredibly well in the last 18 months, with several raising funds from other investors. The additional capital provided by Business Oregon for Gap Fund 2 will significantly enhance our ability to make meaningful investments to support our next generation of founders."
"Oregon has been a leading state supporting innovation and entrepreneurship through the critical work of the Oregon Innovation Council. It is incredibly exciting to partner with Elevate Capital to manage our private equity program, the Commercialization Gap Fund. This program enables the state to financially support early-stage science and research-based companies and benefit from their success. We fully intend for this program to prove to be an evergreen program that will support countless companies and fill existing capital gaps," said Kate Sinner, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager at Business Oregon.
The partnership of Business Oregon's resources and Elevate Capital's management expertise in the first Commercialization Gap Fund have been integral to helping companies continue to raise additional funding, a critical objective for the program. Gap Fund 1 companies have raised over $4.5 million in additional outside investments and over $7.5 million in non-dilutive grant funding.
Commercialization Gap Fund 1 companies include:
- Biomotum (www.biomotum.com): Biomotum is developing a soft-robotic exoskeleton to help kids with Cerebral Palsy and others with impaired mobility learn to walk.
- CytoImage (www.cytoimage.bio): CytoImage provides single cell multiplexed functional imaging to improve precision medicine.
- LeapFrog Design (www.leapfrog.design): LeapFrog created a sustainable and scalable residential grey water recycling system.
- Promedix (www.promedixinc.com): Promedix is helping doctors and nurses identify and diagnose sepsis quickly to prevent critical injury.
- Rewire Neuro (www.rewireneuro.com): Rewire Neuro uses machine learning to automate scientific image analysis, helping researchers publish data more quickly and efficiently.
- Veana Therapeutics (www.veana-therapeutics.com): Veana developed and is testing an oral cancer treatment with very few side effects.
- VitalFlo Health (www.vitalflohealth.com): VitalFlo provides patients and doctors with real-time respiratory monitoring to improve overall lung health.
- HOLO Footwear (www.holofootwear.com): HOLO is an authentic, stylish, sustainable brand that sells shoes made from 100% recycled material at an accessible price.
- LifeAir (www.lifeairmedical.com): LifeAir is developing a disposable airway ventilator for use in hospitals to reduce ventilator-associated diseases such as pneumonia.
- Magwire (www.magwire.org): Magwire is developing the next generation of flexible electronics using transparent conductive films.
- Neurobiome (www.neuro-biome.com): Neurobiome is developing a gut-brain chip for high-throughput testing and discovery of gut microbiome-mediated neuroactive compounds.
- ReNewCat Surfactants: ReNewCat created and is optimizing the synthetic process for a new, more effective surfactant used in the manufacture of nontoxic detergents.
- Skip Technology (www.skiptek.com): Skip Tech is developing a novel flow battery for large scale battery storage systems.
- SomnoSeal (www.kimberlymd.com/somnoseal): SomnoSeal is a consumer product to help improve CPAP efficiency and reduce dry mouth and snoring.
- StoneStable (www.stonestable.com): StoneStable is developing a silica-based coating technology to stabilize vaccines at room temperature, significantly reducing transport and storage costs.
About Elevate Capital: Elevate Capital is a Pacific Northwest-based venture capital firm that invests nationally in early-stage underrepresented entrepreneurs, that includes women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and veterans. For instance, more than 62% of Elevate Capital Fund II investments are in women, 52% in African Americans (majority are women), 67% in founders of color, 10% LGBTQ+, 10% veterans, and 5% Latinx founder/CEO led startups. Since 2016, Elevate Capital has invested nearly $45 Million in 53 startups, of which more than 95% are led by diverse founders. Visit elevate.vc or follow Elevate Capital on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
About Business Oregon: Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The Oregon Innovation Council, a public-private partnership, supports innovators to get new technologies from idea to market and sets the state's innovation agenda. Oregon Innovation Council is also responsible for the implementation of Oregon's 10-Year Innovation Plan - a state plan for innovation and economic competitiveness. Learn more at biz.oregon.gov.
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SOURCE Elevate Capital