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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)



Phoenix, Arizona

Project Name

Southwest Integrated Investment Ecosystem Development Project


Seed Fund Support

Award Amount

$250,000 for the Southwest Integrated Investment Ecosystem Development Project

In Arizona, 96.5% of venture funding for bioscience start-ups comes from outside the state. This results in many early stage companies relocating to the area where the capital financing resides. And according to a Battelle Feasibility Study, while Los Angeles County research institutions stand out in healthcare sciences, with more than ten NIH funded research centers focused on quality of care, health promotion and health disparities, they are lagging in venture capital funding, particularly at the critical early stages.

This Seed Funding proposal will work with local investors and economic development entities to create a robust early-stage bioscience investment ecosystem in the Southwest to accelerate sustainable new company growth.

1) Launch two new venture funds in Arizona and one in LA County:

The BioAccelerator Fund I is an early-stage venture capital fund targeting biomedical technology companies; specifically those arising out of BioAccel’s proof of concept and new venture development programs.

The Arizona Founders Fund I will be a seed-stage venture capital supporting Health IT technologies and software-enabled medical devices, complementary to BioAccel’s medical device companies that sometimes involve a software component. This unique seed fund will catalyze entrepreneurship in the region through aligning key software founders; supplying seed capital; providing investment leadership and facilitating follow-on capital and strategic partnerships.

The BioAccelerator Fund II, applying best practices, will launch in LA and support early stage bioscience companies companies in Southern California and possibly New Mexico and Nevada.

2) Through partnerships established and information acquired under this grant, support an active early-stage investment ecosystem through the creation of the new Funds and the identification, alliance and participation of local investors, business leaders and economic development organizations, in supporting local start-up companies.

The creation of these venture funds and a strong investment ecosystem will support sustainability for early stage bioscience companies that drive powerful regional economic growth, more/higher paying jobs and the accelerated availability of products that improve health and reduce costs.