$3M Third Frontier Pre-Seed Grant Helps Startups Based on Cincinnati Children's Technology

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Biomedical innovation coming out of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is getting another boost with a new $3-million grant from Ohio’s Third Frontier technology-based economic development initiative.

The three-year grant will be matched with an additional $3-million from Cincinnati Children’s to form the Tomorrow Fund III. The fund, totaling $6 million, provides pre-seed funding that can be used to create startup companies based on new technologies developed at Cincinnati Children's.

“From the earliest idea creation in a research laboratory to formal development of a technology for the patient-care environment, the medical center has created a funding pipeline to advance innovations from one development phase to the next,” said Niki Robinson, PhD, assistant vice president of the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) at Cincinnati Children’s. “This creates additional value when a technology has the potential to improve patient care and have an economic impact in Ohio.”

The $3-million grant is part of the Tomorrow Fund’s third round of funding. In the first two rounds, Cincinnati Children’s received a total $4.2 million from the Third Frontier. Those funds were invested in seven start-up companies based on Cincinnati Children’s technologies – so far attracting additional investment of more than $50 million and more than 200 biotech jobs with average annual salaries exceeding $100,000.

The medical center has started a total of eight new biomedical companies in the past 10 years.

Cincinnati Children’s uses the Tomorrow Fund in conjunction with its internally-supported-Innovation Fund to accelerate the transition of promising laboratory discoveries to patient care where they are needed. The Innovation Fund – which includes $1 million of annual funding to promising research projects – is designed to provide proof-of-concept funding and development resources to scientists and physicians to advance promising new technologies to the pre-seed stage.

The CTC manages commercialization for Cincinnati Children's by identifying commercially viable discoveries, securing intellectual property protection and collaborating with industry partners via licensing and the creation of start-up companies. Robinson said technologies most likely to be considered for Tomorrow Fund support are platform technologies and those offering significant opportunity in market segments in which established pharmaceutical and biotech companies may not be interested.

The medical center collaborates on its applications to Ohio’s Third Frontier with officials at CincyTech. The Cincinnati-based public-private seed-stage investor – whose mission is to strengthen the regional economy through the creation and expansion of technology-based companies in Southwest Ohio – works closely with Cincinnati Children’s on technology commercialization efforts.

Cincinnati Children’s has not selected which specific technologies might be funded with the latest round of the Tomorrow Fund. It has a number of research and development initiatives in place to identify new technologies for unmet medical needs, especially those involving rare pediatric conditions.

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News & World Report’s 2014 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

Contact Information

Nick Miller, 513-803-6035,