Wexford Science + Technology, the developer behind 850 PBC, announced last week it has launched its own venture fund focused on investing in early and late-stage seed opportunities, as well as its first two investments through the fund.
Named the SciTech Venture Fund, this new initiative for Wexford “aims to partner with university and regional funds to provide startups with the financial support, connections and resources they need to grow and thrive.” The fund will initially focus on life science and technology companies in one of the 17 markets where Wexford Science + Technology already operates, including Phoenix, according to a press release.
“Wexford is excited to launch our SciTech Venture Fund to support our university partners and local entrepreneurs in assisting promising startups and providing funding, advice, and connections critical to growing and becoming investment ready,” said Thomas Osha, Wexford’s Executive Vice President and president of the fund.
In addition to financial support, portfolio companies will have access to Wexford’s substantial network of university talent, industry experts, strategic partners, and resources to help them scale and grow.
Wexford Science + Technology operates in 16 other cities besides Phoenix across the United States,Phoenix across the United States, including Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, Winston-Salem, and Sacramento. In Phoenix, Wexford partnered with Arizona State University to develop 850 PBC, a 240,000 square foot facility home to ASU research and entrepreneurial space, as well as three floors dedicated to private life science entrepreneurship and companies. One of those spaces is Connect Labs, a 30,000-square-foot coworking space for life science and health care-related companies. Connect Labs opened in January and is home to a growing number of health and bio companies. Wexford also has an agreement in place to develop ASU’s next development on the PBC.
During its organizing period, the Wexford SciTech Venture Fund made its first two investments:
- Capsulomics, (d.b.a. Previse) is a Baltimore-based life science company spun out of Johns Hopkins University, with strong Founder roots the University of Maryland, Baltimore, focused on the development and commercialization of early diagnostic tests for Esophagus cancer detection and prevention.
- Astek is a Baltimore-based medical device diagnostics company, with strong founder roots to the University of Maryland, Baltimore, that has developed an automated instrument that confirms presence of Urinary Tract Infections and simultaneously identifies the best antibiotics to treat the infection considerably quicker than current clinical standards.
“By creating this fund, not only is Wexford helping provide seed-stage startups with the resources they need to succeed, they are helping universities like the University of Maryland, Baltimore amplify their efforts to scale their regional innovation ecosystems,” said Jim Hughes, Senior Vice President and Chief Enterprise and Economic Development Officer for the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Corporate advisory and investment banking firm, Evergreen Advisors (Columbia, MD) serves as fund manager and the fund features a seasoned group of industry leaders as advisors who bring unparalleled knowledge, contacts, and real-world experience when identifying and supporting the next generation of innovative startups, the release said.