Animal health companies vie for investment in "Shark Tank" style forum

USA - A dozen emerging animal health companies from around the world will compete for investments in a “Shark Tank” format with more than 400 venture capital funds, investment firms and potential partners at the 10th annual KC Animal Health Investment Forum
calendar icon 22 August 2018
clock icon 4 minute read

The Investment Forum in Kansas City is one of the world’s only opportunities for early-and mid-stage animal health entrepreneurs to present their business plans and provide an inside look at the newest technology and innovations to potential investors.

“The Global Animal Health Investment Forum is the premier stage for emerging companies to showcase innovations and technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the animal health industry,” said Kimberly Young, President of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.

This year, 12 animal health companies from three countries were selected to showcase their ideas from a highly competitive group of applicants. Each company will be given 10 minutes to present their ideas followed by a five-minute Q&A. Presenting companies are seeking anywhere from $500,000 to $20 million in funding and have revenue projections of $20 million within five to seven years. A national committee of agricultural and animal health experts selected the finalists. They include:

  • Applied LifeSciences & Systems Poultry - Raleigh, NC: an advanced vaccination system for day old chicks which will both identify healthy chicks as well as deliver injectable vaccines
  • Chalante - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom: bioactive, nature inspired molecules, produced economically, to provide cost effective products for the health, productivity, and well-being of animals
  • Chelation Partners Inc - Halifax, NS, Canada: a high affinity, iron specific chelating polymer.
  • Forza10 Discoveries Corp. - Orlando, Fla.: dietetic, nutraceutical pet food
  • Genoscopy - St. Louis, MO: patent pending diagnostic tool which can extract biomarkers from feces
  • Illustris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Palo Alto, Calif.: development stage company whose technology provides for physiological penetration of active ingredients between cells rather than through them
  • Innogenics - Harvard, Mass.: genomic and molecularly based diagnostics and precise medical information for companion animals suffering from cancer
  • MBF Therapeutics - Ambler, PA: check-point inhibitor, immunotherapy technology
  • Scollar, Inc - Santa Rosa, Calif.: first open platform smart collar, mobile app, and cloud service for the evolving needs of the animal care industry
  • Scullion Strategy Group - Greensboro, NC: mobile diagnostic test to determine semen quality using a smartphone based device
  • Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc - Farmington, Conn.: autologous immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine, VVax-001, for dogs
  • WoofTrax - Easthampton, Mass.: a way for pet brands to effectively market to pet owners through effective digital targeting

Since 2010, companies presenting at the Forum have raised nearly $300 million, and many have signed licensing and distribution deals. Recent success stories include Mazen Animal Health; FitBark, Inc; Prommune, Inc; Medgene Labs; Elias Animal Health; Prairie AquaTech; VetDC, Inc; Jaguar Animal Health; BabelBark; Likarda; and Nexvet Biopharma.

BabelBark, a pet-related software developer based in Newton, Massachusetts presented at the 2017 Investment Forum. Earlier this year, BabelBark announced the completion of $4.5 million in Series A funding. The company plans to use the additional funding to continue to expand its reach and services globally, invest in marketing resources and recruit top talent.

“The Investment Forum is really unique. It gave us exposure to a mix of people with different backgrounds that were open minded and ready to listen to the newest technology,” said Roy Stein, Founder & CEO of BabelBark. “During Global Animal Health Week we connected with significant investors, potential partners and clients that provided us with enough traction to secure funding and grow our business.”

The Investment Forum is the culmination of Global Animal Health Week in Kansas City. Events held to recognise this week include Fetch, a leading veterinary conference; a Market Insights Seminar and the annual KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming dinner. The homecoming event draws more than 1,000 people from across the world to Kansas City and is one of the most exclusive gatherings of CEOs and industry leaders worldwide.

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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