Founded in 2015 in Kansas City, BioNovus Innovations creates collaborations to move discoveries “from bench to bedside.” BioNovus brings together research institutions, industry expertise and capital to develop promising advances in drug therapy, medical devices, medical service providers and information technologies. With a variety of structures for public-private partnerships, the mission is to accelerate translational research in important fields of healthcare and to advance the capabilities of the Kansas City region’s life sciences community. Portfolio companies include Ciclomed, Elias Animal Health, Pathfinder Health Innovations, and Smart Diagnostic Systems.
Kansas City-based Firebrand Ventures invests in early-stage startups in the greater Midwest. Since its launch, the fund has invested in 27 portfolio companies in places like Austin, Boulder, Denver, Chicago, Des Moines, and Kansas City. The venture capital fund merged with Blue Note Ventures in Boulder, Colorado, a seed stage fund serving entrepreneurs committed to authentic leadership in 2019, and closed a second fund, Firebrand Ventures II. Portfolio companies include life sciences companies FitBark and Sickweather.
Flyover Capital was formed to invest in early-stage technology companies to create the next generation of technology success stories in 'flyover' region. Headquartered in Leawood, KS, Flyover Capital, founded in 2014, invests in early-stage high-growth B2B companies transforming Flyover Country’s largest industries through technology. Flyover seeks to partner with exceptional teams with an actionable vision who can solve big problems in a scalable way. Portfolio companies in the life sciences are Innara Health and TripleBlind.
Fulcrum Global Capital invests in innovative and promising Agriculture, AgTech and Animal Health companies that capitalize on the compelling market opportunities driven by the explosive growth of the global population and the resulting strain on the food supply. Fulcrum seeks to bring value beyond capital through industry expertise and strategic partners to early-stage companies. Based in Kansas City, Fulcrum closed its first fund of $36 million in March 2020. In October 2021, Fulcrum secured the first close of its second fund, which concluded its initial close above $44 million. Investors in both funds are about 70 percent comprised of U.S.-based ag producers, who represent millions of head of production animals and millions of crop production acres.
iiM: Innovation in Motion invests in seed stage companies where the founder has personally invested in the company; raised some money from friends and family; and has a plan for how to scale the company. The fund focuses on companies, mostly in the Midwest, making innovative changes in the agriculture, animal health, and human health sectors. Regional life sciences portfolio companies to date are SMRxT, Mobility Designed and Mazen Animal Health.
Launched in 2016 in conjunction with the regional KC Rising economic initiative, KCRise Fund is a traditional venture capital fund which invests side-by-side with other institutional VC investors in early-stage companies based in Kansas and western half of Missouri. Investors include corporations, university endowments, family offices and prominent business leaders in the region. In 2019, KCRise Fund II was launched, bringing total committed capital to over $60 million under management. Regional life sciences investments are Bardavon Health Innovations, SMRxT, and Triple Blind.
Nueterra Capital is a healthcare-focused venture capital firm that invests in companies on the leading edge of healthcare reform. Nueterra Capital invests in healthcare providers, services, and technology companies whose business model reshapes the healthcare industry through advanced payment methods, innovative risk transfer models, data analysis, and advocating patient consumerism. Nueterra Capital has offices in Leawood, KS and Nashville, TN. Regional life sciences portfolio companies to date include NueHealth, Patheous Health, Sickweather, Healium, and Spinal Simplicity.
OpenAir Equity Partners is a venture capital firm solely focused on the wireless communications and mobile Internet sectors. Founded in 2008 in Kansas City, the investment team is comprised of wireless pioneers and experts who invest only in that market sector where experience, knowledge, industry contacts, and ability to navigate through the complex wireless and communications ecosystem will power ventures and companies to success.
Open Prairie, headquartered in Effingham, IL, was founded in 1999 as a venture capital firm focused on Midwest-based technology companies. Since its initial founding, Open Prairie has managed three funds and over $100M in investments with a strong focus on agriculture technology and medical devices. Open Prairie has invested in local companies Metactive, Flow Forward Medical and Innara Health.
Technology Accelerator Partners LLC, or TechAccel, is a technology and venture development enterprise in the agriculture and animal health sector founded in 2014 by Michael Helmstetter, Kansas State University and the Bicknell Family Holding Company. TechAccel seeks to accelerate sustainable innovations to market in agriculture, animal health and food technology. The fund invests in technologies spun out from global multinational strategic partners, universities, and emerging companies, and helps to accelerate their entry into the marketplace.