A serious gameday tear to the hamstring set Lia Winter’s high school sports career on a detour—one that felt devastating at the time but that also helped route her toward a career as a budding entrepreneur. Over the last two years, Winter, founder and chief executive officer of Winter Innovations, has worked to improve the surgical process—specifically necessary stitching—for patients who suffer the same kind of orthopedic injury she did. At the center of her startup—much of which she developed while a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville—is a two-part surgical needle that’s “removably connectable” and that makes surgical stitching more seamless, she said. The invention, dubbed Easy Whip, has captured top prizes at nine pitch competitions—including innov865’s 2019 Startup Day, where Winter won the top honor at the Shark Tank-style event along with the crowd favorite award.
The number of investments that venture capitalists will make this year in pharmaceutical and biotech companies is on pace to match last year’s record—and that money continues to shift into earlier-stage deals. Venture firms invested in 609 drug development deals as of Sept. 30, 2019, compared with 808 deals for all last year, according to the latest data from firms that track VC investments. Since 2016, more than half of the money invested in pharma and biotech each year has been in the riskier angel, seed, Series A, and Series B stages, according to the latest Venture Monitor, a quarterly report published by Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association.
Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc.(NASDAQ: CPIX), a U.S. specialty pharmaceutical company announces a new publication in Infectious Diseases and Therapy, showing numerically superior cure rates of telavancin compared to vancomycin within a subset of patients who were enrolled in phase 3 ATTAIN trials and had hospital-acquired pneumonia caused by bacteria with low susceptibility to vancomycin. Cumberland manufactures and distributes telavancin under the brand name Vibativ®. Vibativ® is patented, FDA approved anti-infective for the treatment of certain serious bacterial infections including hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia. It is also approved for complicated skin and skin structure infections. It addresses a range of gram-positive bacterial pathogens, including those that are considered difficult-to-treat and multidrug-resistant.
Launch Tennessee is attempting to take its mission to another level with new programs. The Launch Tennessee Innovation Capital Continuum includes three equity initiatives: the Impact Fund, the Blended Capital Fund, and the Follow-on Fund. The Launch Tennessee Capital Program Team helps Continuum applicants find the appropriate resources. Funding from each Continuum initiative requires a match of private dollars, a thorough diligence process by Launch Tennessee, and approval from the Continuum’s investment committee.
Federal agencies fail, on average, 24 percent of the time to notify applicant small businesses of award decisions within required deadlines. A small business has a zero percent chance of being able to plan to start an innovation project within six months if they apply to ARPA-E (the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency) or the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, both of which never met the deadline. These competitiveness-throttling facts were uncovered in the latest SBIR-related report from the General Accounting Office (GAO), released Sept. 26. “Small Business Innovation Programs: Many Agencies Took Longer to Issue Small Business Awards than Recommended,” reports only 13 of the 28 federal agencies, offices, and components included in the analysis were able to make timely awards (within 180 days) more than 50 percent of the time.
In this third annual report, we have taken an in-depth look at startup activity throughout nine states in the southeastern United States over the five-and-a-half-year time period from January 1, 2014 through June 30, 2019. The purpose of The State of Startups in the Southeast is to deliver a comprehensive overview of the venture capital and startup ecosystem in this region. We hope this report informs key investors of emerging trends to watch as well as highlights the area’s growth and future opportunities, particularly in regard to understanding the maturation of the southeastern venture ecosystem and its impact on the potential for return on investment.