About The Fund
The life sciences industry represents one of the most compelling industry sectors for venture capital investment. There is no sector of investing that has greater potential risk, or greater reward. Particularly when you consider the enormity of the benefits that these companies can have on society. Life sciences innovation has the potential to cure catastrophic diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2010, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the United States was $14.5 trillion, spread over hundreds of industries. U.S. healthcare accounted for $2.6 trillion (17.9%) of GDP and the Manager believes that the life sciences sector will continue to grow providing the Fund with a rich source of life sciences investment opportunities. Specifically, the Accelerator Fund focuses on the following life science sub-segments with roots in western Pennsylvania:
- Therapeutics – Therapeutics companies discover and develop remedies for disease or the alleviation of symptoms through chemical or biology-based actions within or on the body.
- Diagnostics – Diagnostics identify the nature of a medical condition, determining whether a specified disease or disease process is present in a living organism.
- Medical Devices – A medical device is an instrument, apparatus or implement intended for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease.
- Biotechnology Tools – Biotechnology tools assist the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries with applications that provide inputs into the discovery and development process.
- Healthcare Information Technology – Healthcare IT is the intersection of information science, computer science and healthcare. It deals with the resources, devices and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information in healthcare and biomedicine.
Why Western Pennsylvania
The western Pennsylvania region offers compelling investment opportunities which the Fund will be able to access in part by leveraging its extensive network of deal sources and industry contacts in the region. Western Pennsylvania has all of the elements required for strong and healthy life sciences industry growth, including:
- World Class Basic Research – The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University each secure substantial federal research funds for basic medical research from various federal funding agencies. The combination of two of the nation’s important research universities and one of its largest and most respected medical complexes forms a dynamic economic engine that has driven the economy to new heights, pumping many billions of dollars into the regional economy each year, including the employment of nearly 80,000.
- Emerging Biotechnology, Medical Device and Diagnostic Companies – New life sciences company formation in the region has experienced more than 700% growth in the decade since the PLSG was formed. The region now regularly produces between 15 and 20 investment quality life science companies a year.
- A Growing Number of Large Bioscience Companies Have Become Successful in the Region – The region is growing more and more successful bioscience companies each year and is a successful environment for entrepreneurial success. Among them are: MEDRAD, Inc., a $500 million provider of medical imaging technology (now merged into Bayer AG); Respironics, Inc., which was sold to Philips Healthcare for over $5 billion; Renal Solutions, Inc., the first investment by the PLSG, which sold for $200 million in just 5 years. The region boasts the strongest small-business sector in the Eastern United States, according to the latest annual ratings by On Numbers.
- Strong Commitment by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has created innovative programs to fuel growth and investment in the life sciences industry such as the Life Sciences Greenhouse Initiative and its NewPA Venture Capital Program.