Friday, 12 April 2024

Eppendorf Innovation Company strengthens access to US startup scene

14 February 2024 | News

Eppendorf's investment will foster a relationship that will increase knowledge of research tools, equipment, and diagnostics spinouts from over 100 universities across the US

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The Eppendorf Innovation Company (EpIC) – a  division of Eppendorf SE – continues to expand its international network.  Through a targeted investment in Osage University Partners (OUP), EpIC will  learn about investment opportunities in some of the most cutting-edge  startups transitioning their academic discoveries into the commercial world  through OUP’s network of university spinouts.

The core task of the Eppendorf Innovation Company (EpIC) is to identify new business  opportunities for the Eppendorf Group to strengthen its innovative advantage in a targeted  manner. By investing in OUP, Eppendorf now has a new relationship to identify disruptive  and highly innovative research tools and diagnostics businesses for potential investment  and collaboration. Based in Philadelphia, USA, OUP partners with more than 100  universities to engage with researchers early in their startup journeys and ultimately  invests in their most compelling startups. 

"As a partner of OUP, we have the opportunity to get to know start-ups in our specific fields of interest at an early stage and possibly invest in them," explains Dr. Rudolf  Walczak, Vice President Eppendorf Innovation Company. "Every year, OUP’s number of tracked companies grows as more and more start-ups are created within their partner  ecosystem. With this new relationship with OUP, Eppendorf will be well positioned to learn  about cutting-edge innovation at its earliest stage and maintain their competitive  advantage in the long run." 

Innovative venture capital model in the USA 

OUP partners closely with universities to invest in some of the most exciting startups in  sectors ranging from life science research tools and therapeutics, to photonics, computing, and artificial intelligence. Since 2009, OUP has dedicated itself to supporting the university  entrepreneurship ecosystem, earning exclusive relationships with institutions which allow  them to exercise the university’s investment rights in their startups, fuel their growth with  capital, and share in their success. Universities have partnered with OUP to introduce them  to scientists and professors who may be looking for guidance on commercialization  strategy and raising venture capital in sectors that overlap with Eppendorf’s expertise,  namely research tools, diagnostics, and laboratory equipment. 

"After almost 15 years of investing and tracking university spinouts, we have observed  many consistent trends and challenges across our network. We know the startups in our  deal flow represent the absolute cutting edge of science and technology,” explains Dr.  Manny Stockman, Partner at OUP. “But because of their origins as tech-first companies, the  startups often take years to navigate product-market fit and identify the true pain points of  their industry. Our fund is excited to work with Eppendorf so that our university partners  and the startups we work with can benefit from Eppendorf’s deep domain expertise in the  area of research tools, lab equipment, and diagnostics.” 

Expansion of the international network  

The OUP investment fits seamlessly into Eppendorf's strategy of expanding its international  network. In line with this, investments were already made in High-Tech Gründerfonds in  Germany at the beginning of 2023. "With these two collaborations, we are very closely  linked to the German and US start-up scene," says Walczak. "In this extremely dynamic  market, you can only operate successfully with functioning networks and early information,  and we have now created this foundation. This is an important step for EpIC and thus also  for the whole of Eppendorf." 


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