A local angel investment group has put more than $2 million into innovative health- and agriculture-related companies.
Innovation in Motion, launched in 2013, recently completed funding for nine early stage companies in the animal health, ag-tech and human health verticals with commitments to two additional companies, for a total investment of $2.37 million.
Managing director Lydia Kinkade is a founder of iiM and says the firm has taken a unique approach to early stage investing in several respects.
“The investor members include physicians, animal health experts and agriculture practitioners along with several entrepreneurs in other industries,” she said. “This level of domain expertise is not often found at this stage of investing. We are very disciplined about only investing in the three designated verticals.”
iiM typically invests $150,000 to $300,000 in a company, with its largest investment being $530,000. It has provided follow-on capital in subsequent funding rounds for two of its portfolio companies.
Kinkade expects the investment amounts to increase as the result of a growing syndicate concept. Syndicate members are able to participate in prospective company presentations, review due diligence materials and make investments side-by-side with investor members.
“By expanding our syndicate membership, we’re able to allow more individuals to benefit from our due diligence and selection processes, and increase the size of our investment at the same time,” she said.
Investments in ag-tech, animal health and human health
iiM’s investments include:
- AgriSync (Waukee, Iowa) // Enables farmers to connect with their advisors live using video and other in-app workflow features in order to solve real-time problems as they occur.
- Green Dot Bioplastics (Emporia) // Bioplastic and bio-composite pellets.
- innate.ly (Colorado Springs, Colo.) // Offers cloud and smart device ready software-as-a-service platforms that improve the business practices and processes in animal health and protein production.
- Mazen Animal Health (St. Joseph) // Creates oral vaccines in an efficient and low-cost system for production and companion animals that eliminates need for refrigeration and enables multiple animal dosing.
- MNI (Medical Nutrition Innovation) (Philadelphia) // Developed a medical food sold as a powder that is calorie-dense, taste-neutral and contains essential micronutrients for patients suffering from malnutrition.
- Mobility Designed (Kansas City, Mo.)// Durable medical equipment designer, manufacturer and online retailer of ambulatory aids.
- Nomi (Overland Park) // Developed SMRxT to solve nonadherence to prescription medication, currently one of the largest health care problems. This involves a highly sophisticated sensor system that resides in a medication bottle.
- P&P Optica (Waterloo, Ontario) // Combines in-line smart imaging technology with data analysis in a novel way to help ensure the food we eat is safer, higher quality and produced with less waste.
- PhotoniCare (Champaign, Ill.) // Produces a hand-held ClearView imaging tool that uses an advanced light-based technology to see through the eardrum, enabling physicians to make a more accurate diagnosis of middle ear infections.
Kinkade expects iiM to make eight to 10 investments in 2019 with the ultimate goal of achieving a minimum portfolio of 30 companies. Exits are generally anticipated in seven to 10 years, though some companies may be acquired sooner than that.
“Through growth in our syndicate, we expect to reach the point where we are making investments of at least $500,000, and we want to grow well beyond the 30 company portfolio target in the years to come,” she said.