April 18, 2017

UConn startups attract record $40M in 2016 funding

HBJ PHOTO | Matt Pilon
HBJ PHOTO | Matt Pilon
Scott Conroy, a graduate student in applied genomics, interned for Frequency Therapeutics. The startup raised $9.1 million in 2016, part of record growth for the Technology Incubation Program.

Startups in UConn's Technology Incubation Program (TIP) attracted a record $39.9 million in debt and equity in 2016, according to a fresh report from UConn.

That exceeds the 2014 record of $24.4 million, according to UConn's Office of the Vice President for Research.

TIP, which supports UConn startups as well as technology ventures, has sponsored more than 85 companies since it was established in 2004.

Jeff Seemann, UConn/UConn Health vice president for research, credited Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's Bioscience CT initiative with fueling the growth.

"Instead of going to Boston or New York, these companies choose to stay in Connecticut to grow their companies, create jobs, and benefit society with their cutting-edge advances," said Seemann.

Agrivida, an agritech company focused on animal nutrition, raised the most money -- $21 million, which will be used to advance the commercialization of its patented feed additive enzyme for use with poultry and swine. The funds also will support product development for dairy and beef cattle.

Frequency Therapeutics successfully raised $9.1 million in 2016, and recently announced a $32 million Series A financing, to continue developing a drug-based therapy to restore hearing in individuals with hearing loss caused by continuous exposure to loud noises.

According to the latest National Business Incubation Association survey data, in 2016 UConn's incubator was 12,000 square feet larger and housed 62 percent more startups than that national average.

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