Research leads to record 16 startups in FY15

The University of Minnesota launched a record 16 startup companies — many of them medical — over the past year based on research discoveries and inventions. 

The startups stemmed from the work of faculty scientists, including Masonic Cancer Center members Reuben Harris, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics in the College of Biological Sciences, and Daniel Harki, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicinal chemistry in the College of Pharmacy, who developed the technology behind St. Paul–based ApoGen BioTech. The company is developing a new class of pharmaceuticals to detect and block a specific enzyme found in many types of cancers, including breast, lung, and head cancers. These drugs will slow the evolution of cancer cells and help prevent drug resistance.

Of the 12 new companies that are located in Minnesota, 11 are in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and one is in Two Harbors, Minn.

The Venture Center, part of the University’s Office for Technology Commercialization, matches intellectual property resulting from U of M research with experienced CEOs to provide a platform for that research to reach the public. Since forming in 2006, the Venture Center has worked with entrepreneurs and investors to launch 84 startup companies.  

Published on April 5, 2016