The four counties that comprise Metro Atlanta are home to an active and growing life science innovation ecosystem. Emory University; the Emory and Georgia Tech Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Biolocity (a life science incubator housed across from Emory and Georgia Tech) help lead this growth. Together, these resources consistently seed and grow life science innovation with translational impact. As this ecosystem matures, however, the academic spin-outs tend to stall due to a critical gap in early stage funding. The proposed creation of the Emory Catalyst Fund will fill this critical funding gap for regional, scalable life science start-ups. This application proposes the formation of a new fund to fill a critical unmet need in our regional life science economy.
The Catalyst Fund will be technology area agnostic, but will focus on technologies with the ability to impact human health. Unlike traditional funds that are raised through Limited Partners, the Catalyst Fund will be supported by a combination of Emory University funding and philanthropic donations through Emory Advancement, the fundraising arm of Emory University. As the source of funding is envisioned to be largely philanthropic, the Catalyst Fund will be an open-ended, evergreen fund with the dual mission of supporting scalable start-ups with the ability to impact human health and of sustaining this impact through reinvestment into the Fund’s corpus. By 2025, we project investments in more than 10 companies, creation of more than 150 new jobs, and evergreen support for the Catalyst Fund.