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ASU technology raises $68M in venture funding

September 09, 2013

Spinout companies based on technologies developed by researchers at Arizona State University raised $68 million in external funding during the 2013 fiscal year, according to figures collected by Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), ASU’s technology transfer organization. Altogether, companies that have licensed ASU discoveries have raised nearly $400 million in total venture funding since AzTE’s creation in 2003.

“ASU’s expanding research enterprise is leading to breakthroughs in a wide range of areas that will have a huge impact on society, from medical devices and diagnostics to green energy and advanced materials,” said Augie Cheng, CEO of Arizona Technology Enterprises. “AzTE’s ongoing evolution involves finding and supporting more of the researchers doing this innovative work to help them spin out technologies or companies that will save lives, create jobs and contribute to economic development in Arizona.”

Over the last ten years, AzTE has supported the launch and development of 67 ASU spinout companies. Examples of recent venture investments include $2 million raised by neuro brain stimulation company Neurotrek, $4 million raised by cancer diagnostics company HealthTell and $28 million raised by Heliae, an algae-based company developing nutraceutical and personal care products.

In June 2012, ASU received a $30.7 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a diagnostic tool to protect military personnel against bioterrorism, utilizing technology being developed by HealthTell.

“The increasing level of investment, year after year, in our ASU spinouts shows the level of commitment by both the founders and the wider investment community,” said Charlie Lewis, vice president of Venture Development for AzTE. “The support structure for internally created startup companies has included the co-creation of ASU Venture Catalyst, now called the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, to really focus these startup teams on success.”

Support for ASU spinouts continues after the incubation period within the university is over. AzTE now supports California-based spinouts through an outreach office based in the ASU California Center in Santa Monica. Both AzTE and the ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group are using the location to strengthen connections between ASU’s entrepreneurial faculty and the critically important Southern California innovation ecosystem.

The recent "First Look LA" investor showcase hosted by the Los Angeles Venture Association featured technologies and startups from ASU and six Southern California research institutions, including Caltech, UCLA and USC.

The California Center also provides ASU with a location in the Los Angeles area to connect with prospective students and their parents, offer enhanced academic and internship experiences for current ASU students and engage with alumni.

Media contact:
Gordon McConnell,
ASU Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group