CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The PROPEL® Center at the iBIO® Institute today announced that active PROPEL clients – all life sciences startups – secured more than $30 million in new funding in 2014, bringing the total raised to more than $140 million since PROPEL launched in June 2007. Recognizing the continued impact of PROPEL’s work, the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust made a 2015 gift of $500,000 to PROPEL, bringing its total donations to $2 million.
PROPEL helps guide the development of formation-stage and early-stage life sciences companies by providing entrepreneurs with access to specialized resources and expertise to prepare them for early-stage funding. Support from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust, among other donors, has allowed PROPEL to expand its programs and provide more direct grants and awards to its client companies. In the last seven years, PROPEL has awarded $800,000 to its companies, funding that has a strong leverage effect. For each $1 that PROPEL has awarded, PROPEL companies have raised $175 in new funding.
PROPEL programs include coaching and mentoring, technical assistance, workshops, networking events, mock investor pitch sessions, grant and award programs, business plan competition and several publications.
“PROPEL is helping our early stage life sciences companies realize their unique visions,” said Warren Ribley, President and CEO of the iBIO Institute. “The assistance PROPEL provides is crucial for companies that face tremendous odds against succeeding. The $30 million raised in 2014 reflects the quality of these startups as well as the impact PROPEL programs have.”
PROPEL collaborates with other organizations in the entrepreneurial community to ensure that appropriate programs exist for every stage of the startup cycle.
“PROPEL plays a critical role in solidifying our region’s role as a major center of life sciences innovation and STEM education. This work is essential to the long-term strength of our regional economy and we are delighted to provide continued support because of the generosity of the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust,” said Terry Mazany, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust.
Since 2007, PROPEL has helped over 100 companies, one of which is Woodridge-based Endotronix. The company is developing a solution to accurately measure cardiac function and capture that data using a mobile device so that it can be reviewed by a patient’s clinical care team. Unlike traditional monitoring solutions, the small implant doesn’t require batteries, placement of leads or permanent vessel penetration. Endotronix has been a PROPEL company since 2008, participating in many programs and receiving several different PROPEL grants and awards.
“PROPEL has been instrumental in our continued growth and success,” said Endotronix CEO Harry Rowland. “PROPEL’s educational programs and introductions to top quality advisors in Chicago, and worldwide, have been invaluable to our company.” In fall 2014 Endotronix won $120,000 and a distinguished award in the Nokia Sensing XChallenge for its innovative solution.
Barbara Goodman, senior vice president of PROPEL, appreciates the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust’s recognition and support of PROPEL programming. “It’s inspiring to see these companies grow and attract more funding every year. This grant from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust means that entrepreneurs will continue to have the programming and resources they need from PROPEL to make progress in launching their technologies.”
About the iBIO® Institute: The mission of the iBIO Institute is to orchestrate business leadership in delivery of world-class educational programs and job-creating new technology ventures.
About the iBIO Institute’s PROPEL® Center: The mission of the Institute’s PROPEL Center is to increase the number and success rate of early-stage life sciences companies in Illinois. PROPEL gives entrepreneurs access to specialized resources and expertise and prepares them for early-stage funding.