Emerging companies vie for funding; products aim to revolutionize global animal health
The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor hosted emerging animal health companies from around the world on Tuesday at the ninth annual KC Animal Health Investment Forum, a one-of-a-kind forum that joins animal health start-ups with more than 400 ambitious executives and investors.
The Investment Forum in Kansas City is one of the world’s only opportunities for early-and mid-stage animal health entrepreneurs to present their business plans to potential investors, giving venture capital funds, investment firms and potential partners an inside look at the newest technology and innovations.
“In many cases, small companies are where new innovation comes from and this is really a place where you see them showcased,” said Karthik Ramachandran, VP and Co-Founder of Likarda, a market leader in cell-based therapy for pets and emcee of the 2017 Investment Forum. “The forum is a unique chance to meet investors, network, and find mentors, advisors and potential partners. It gives entrepreneurs real resources they need to make their dreams reality.”
This year, 18 animal health companies from around the world were selected to showcase their ideas from a highly competitive group of applicants. Four of the companies presenting are headquartered in the KC Animal Health Corridor.
Entrepreneurs will have 15 minutes to present their ideas in a Shark Tank format with millions of dollars on the table. Presenting companies are seeking $500,000 to $20 million in funding and have revenue projections of $20 million within five to seven years. A national committee of agricultural and animal health experts selected the finalists. They include:
- Aquila Diagnostic Systems, Inc. – Edmonton, AB, Canada: a molecular diagnostic platform to monitor livestock health without the need for invasive sampling. aquiladiagnostics.com
- Auxthera, LLC – Gainsville, FL: prescription only dog food supplement supporting weight loss in companion dogs. trimauxil.com
- Babelbark – Newton, MA: cloud-based platform with mobile applications to connect pet parents, veterinarians, and pet businesses. https://babelbark.com
- Future Pet Animal Health, Inc. – North Vancouver, BC, Canada: software platform that automates client communication and intake for veterinary clinics. futurepet.care
- Heartland Farm Energy – Ashland, MO: technology to convert waste heat and moisture to energy in poultry barns. heartlandfarmenergy.com
- Hylapharm Animal Health – Lawrence, KS: new treatments for cancer in dogs. hylapharm.com
- Klox Technologies Limited – Dublin, Ireland: proprietary platform to address unmet needs and improve patient platforms for animals with debilitating conditions. kloxtechnologies.com
- Neurocycle Therapeutics – Sheridan, WY: treatment that will provide immediate relief for itch in dogs. neurocycletherapeutics.com
- Paradox Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Memphis, TN: chemotherapeutic agent for use in companion animals to overcome drug resistance. paradoxpharma.com
- Principle Imaging Corporation – Bozeman, MT: radiology utilizing two modalities to enable and automate deep body and orthopedic imaging. principleimaging.com
- Prommune, Inc. – Omaha, NE: small, engineered peptides which induce a natural immune stimulation with no inflammatory response to target swine influenza. prommuneinc.com
- PupPod – Kirkland, WA: a computer for dogs. https://puppod.com
- Sentier – Brookfield, WI: building upon Vetcorder to incorporate at-home monitoring and new technologies. sentierconnect.com
- Stem Vita, LLC – Escondido, CA: stem cell factors for wound dressings, mucoadhesive films and tablets, eye drops and skin care products. stemprotein.com
- Therio, LLC – Manhattan, KS: a superovulatory agent for embryo transfer in cattle. therio.com
- Vet Innovations – Miami, FL: a tool to address pet obesity through a portion control system. portionprorx.com
- ViroVet NV – Leuven, Flanders, Belgium: anti-viral therapeutics and a line of innovative vaccines targeting livestock disease. virovet.com
- Vitamfero S.A. – Angers, France: solutions for undermet needs against diseases such as bovine neosporosis and neonatal infections in ruminants and chicks. vitamfero.com
Since inception, 325 companies have applied to vie for investor dollars and industry partnerships. These companies hailed from 14 countries and nearly every U.S. state. Companies presenting at the first eight KC Animal Health Investment Forums have raised more than $270 million. Several have also received licensing agreements or distribution contracts. Recent success stories include Mazen Animal Health; FitBark, Inc.; AGL; Prommune, Inc.; Medgene Labs; Elias Animal Health; Prairie AquaTech; VetDC, Inc.; Jaguar Animal Health and Nexvet Biopharma.
The Investment Forum is the culmination of Global Animal Health week in Kansas City. Animal health industry events to recognize this week include the CVC Veterinary Conference and the annual KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming dinner. The homecoming event draws thousands of people from across the world to Kansas City and is one of the most exclusive gatherings of CEOs and industry leaders worldwide.