Kansas looks to boost VC with $50M in funding

The Kansas Bioscience Authority is dividing up $50 million dollars between eight venture capital firms in hopes of spurring early drug development in the state. To qualify for funding, the eight firms selected will have to have a "substantial presence" in Kansas, which includes having offices there. Additionally, the firms must each raise at least $25 million from private and institutional sources, leveraging the KBA's investment to $250 million.

The firms chosen invest in animal health, bioenergy and medical products, and were granted anywhere from $5 million to $10 million in funding. Burrill & Company ($10 million), MPM Capital ($10 million) and Triathlon Medical Ventures ($5 million) are among the life sciences-focused VC firms given grants by the state. 

"Capital is the lifeblood of bioscience companies. Innovators all across Kansas are developing world-class bioscience products and services only to see their true societal and economic development potential suffer for a lack of early stage capital. With the KBA's investment commitments, Kansas is attracting the attention of some of the most respected venture capital firms in the country to help high growth potential bioscience companies in Kansas access growth capital to gain full-scale commercialization," said KBA president Tom Thornton in a statement.

- see the KBA release