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Columbus-based Ikove debuts $10M Startup Nursery Fund

Ikove team

Ikove Venture Partners, a Midwest venture development company that commercializes early-stage technologies, announced on Thursday its first venture development fund, the Startup Nursery (SUN) Fund.

The $10 million vehicle will be used to launch 10 to 15 early-stage technology companies through its proprietary Startup Nursery.

Ikove’s venture development model identifies and cultivates cutting-edge technologies at leading research institutions, by partnering with inventors and institutions to found new companies around intellectual property.

“We’ve reimagined technology commercialization and venture, and have developed a unique, scalable, hands-on model to bring transformative technologies to life,” said John D’Orazio, co-founder of Ikove.

Ikove says they have built a structure that leverages world-class talent and harnesses years of research and design and investment from grants at research institutions, to unlock powerful innovations created in laboratories.

Ikove focuses on commercializing concept and seed stage technologies that bridge the gap between lab and market.

“While $70 billion is invested annually into university-backed research in labs across the country, less than one percent is invested in commercializing these life-changing ideas,” said Flavio Lobato, co-founder of Ikove.

That means that over 95 percent of patented university innovations remain unfunded and never reach the commercial market.

Since 2014, Ikove has launched 10 early-stage deep tech companies in the STEM, AgriTech and MedTech verticals, creating more than $150 million in equity value. With most of the companies entering hockey stick growth phases, Ikove expects the portfolio value to grow to over $250 million by the end of 2019.

The SUN Fund enables Ikove to expand its outreach to help more early-stage technologies overcome the commercialization gap as well as develop new verticals.

“The SUN Fund affords us the opportunity to realize the substantial pipeline of technologies we’ve identified, which have the potential to influence and evolve how we live our day-to-day lives.” said co-founder Rodolfo Bellesi.

The SUN Fund is a proprietary vehicle that allows investors to co-invest with Ikove and access founder-level valuations and accelerate growth through follow-on rounds via an international network of strategic investors, hailing from over 10 countries.

Startup Nursery graduates include Nikola Labs, Cognovi Labs, Circular Wave Drive, ParaGen Technologies (parent company to four holding companies: RenovoDerm, Atreon Orthopedics, Vascular Genesis and Tarian Medical), eLum Technologies, Soliton Reach and Soil1.

To date, Ikove has raised over $40 million directly into their portfolio companies to further develop the technologies and accelerate their commercialization efforts.

“We’re inspired by the success of Ikove and our portfolio companies over the last four years,” said Lobato. “With the launch of the SUN Fund, we’re looking forward to scaling our efforts in fulfillment of our mission of unlocking the potential of technology commercialization, bringing to life-disruptive technologies that deserve to be shared with humanity.”

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