Plus, investments in car subscription startup Go and online safety-focused Kidas, grants for diversity in tech and city gov safety projects, and the Science Center wrapped its Phase 1 Ventures fund.
Science Center closes its legacy fund …
University City Science Center is closing its first $5 million fund, Phase 1 Ventures, created nearly a decade ago to develop and commercialize emerging technologies. The fund deployed capital to 43 companies including Spirovant, Kiira Health, Thermaquil, Neuralert and Avkin. Its investments ranged from $20,000 to $450,000.
Its most recent investments are in Acclinate, a Birmingham-based company working to connect pharmaceutical companies and communities of color, and Prana Thoracic, a Houston-based company developing a diagnostic to support the early detection and intervention of lung cancer. A third Philadelphia-based company also received funding, but is still operating in stealth mode.
“It’s our belief that more capital needs to be directed towards the entrepreneurs and innovators who represent communities that have the most to gain from expanding the horizons of healthcare,” Science Center CEO Tiffany Wilson said in a statement. “The fundamentals of each of these companies are solid and it’s our goal to ensure they have an opportunity to test and validate their work on a bigger stage — within the healthcare organizations and populations they are looking to help.”
… and launches a health-focused fund
The Science Center began raising Fund 2 in 2021, this one established as the Science Center Health Fund. The $25 million fund will invest in healthcare and life science solutions with a focus on addressing inequities in underserved populations. This fund will be making investments of $500,000 to $750,000 in $1 million to $5 million rounds.
“P1V was really a proof of concept for us, as we took on the responsibility of identifying, vetting, and financially supporting companies close to our mission and on track to improve healthcare,” said Heath Naquin, Science Center VP of government and capital engagement, in a statement. Naquin was hired in 2021 specifically to oversee the launch of an investments arm focused on health equity startups.
“We want to make a clear signal to the market that our investments can advance healthcare innovation and improve lives,” he said.