U Of M Touts Record Year For Spinning Off Startups

The university said its Venture Center helped introduce 15 new companies in its latest fiscal year.

The University of Minnesota is touting that it launched a record 15 startup companies in its latest fiscal year, driven by the discoveries and inventions of its researchers.

The 15 launches for fiscal 2014, which ended June 30, tops the 14 startups launched in fiscal 2013 and the 12 launched during fiscal 2012.

The university launched the Venture Center, part of its Office for Technology Commercialization, in 2006 with the goal of connecting researchers with experienced CEOs, investors, and venture capitalists. Since its inception, a total of 67 startup companies have been created.

According to the University of Minnesota, the companies have raised a combined $109.5 million in investment capital.

But the fledgling companies are not immune from the challenges that face startups anywhere: 12 of the startups are no longer active. Overall, 55 of the companies—or 82 percent—remain active.

Most, but not all, of the companies are based in Minnesota. Since the inception of the program, 49 of the 67 companies have been based in Minnesota. Among those companies based in the state, 40 remain active, according to Venture Center statistics.

“Our talented faculty are constantly developing innovative ways for us to live safer, smarter and healthier lives,” said Dr. Brian Herman, the U’s vice president for research, in a statement announcing the latest spinoffs. “Bringing these ideas to market advances Minnesota’s economy and its ecosystem of entrepreneurship by creating the basis for new industries and strengthening the state’s competitiveness in existing ones. I am excited to see university research translate into solutions to real-world problems.”

The 15 companies launched during the University’s fiscal 2014 are:

ADC BioMed Corporation: Diagnostics and therapeutics to prevent and treat cancer and other diseases

Bennett Autogas Systems: A lower cost fuel tank

CURx Pharmaceuticals: Injection treatments for seizures in hospitalized epilepsy patients

CVC Heartsavers: Diagnostic tool for earlier detection of heart disease

Efficient Windows Collaborative: A nonprofit—the only one among the 67 companies—providing online information about energy-efficient windows

InformeDesign: Searchable database for interior designers, architects and urban planners

Meso-Flow: Disposable device to clean and store blood cells used in transplants and other procedures

Minnepura: Process offering a low cost way to remove hydrocarbons and chemicals from water

MinnScan: An advanced imaging system for using MRI in dental procedures

NH3 Strategies: A process to produce ammonia fertilizer with water and air that can be produced close to farmers, cutting transportation costs

Niron Magnetics: A new process for fabricating permanent magnets

Surgical Information Sciences: Brain maps to target deep brain stimulation for treating patients with Parkinson’s disease

Treatment Global: A multi-disciplinary telehealth program offering health, wellness and chronic disease management without clinical visits

Vigilant Diagnostics: A diagnostic system that measures for traces of malaria and strep throat with more accuracy than standard systems

Zepto Life Technology: Portable, low-cost device that can test of human sample for traces of more than 60 diseases or conditions