George Shultz Innovation Fund Invest in Anapneo Therapeutics at Its Spring Finals

Photos of the Innovation Fund Competition on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo by Matt Marton)

The George Shultz Innovation Fund is excited to announce that it plans to invest $250,000 in Anapneo Therapeutics. This round of investments brings the Shultz Innovation Fund’s total investments to over $7 million in 62 projects.

Four finalists presented their proposals to the advisory committee, which includes leading investors and entrepreneurs from a variety of technological and scientific fields, at the spring finals on Wednesday, June 5. Over 180 students, faculty, alumni, and members of Chicago’s entrepreneurial and investing community listened to teams present their ideas, which ranged from a patient care platform to acoustic technology used to detect air leaks in buildings.

“Our finalists this year showcased the amazing breadth and depth of the research ecosystem at UChicago and Argonne,” said Steve Lehmann, assistant director of the George Shultz Innovation Fund. “From medical imaging, informatics, and pharmaceuticals, to green building technology, our scientists and scholars are developing innovations that will have a deep and lasting impact.”

Anapneo Therapeutics will be awarded $250,000 to continue its work towards enabling an investigational new drug application and begin Phase I clinical trials. Anapneo Therapeutics develops novel agents for sleep apnea, a disorder for which the standard of care is often poorly tolerated and for which no pharmacotherapies are FDA-approved. Anapneo’s therapeutic is designed to target a paradigm-shifting mechanism of respiratory regulation, treating both obstructive and central sleep apneas. The team is affiliated with the University Chicago Department of Medicine and previously participated in the Polsky I-Corps program.

“This investment process provides a compelling opportunity for experiential learning to our students that participate as venture associates,” said Scott Meadow, clinical professor of entrepreneurship and member of the Shultz Innovation Fund Steering Committee. “The caliber of their work and level of professionalism in their presentations to the advisory committee is representative of the program’s growth and impact across our campus.”

The Shultz Innovation Fund, which is managed by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, invests in promising technologies and startups created by current faculty, students, and staff of the University as well as Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory. The Innovation Fund fills a critical gap in venture funding, providing early capital often otherwise unavailable to bring groundbreaking ideas to market. Applicants to the Fund receive expert feedback from a committee of industry leaders, both internal and external to the University of Chicago—distinguished angel and venture capital investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs—to help them move their projects forward and create lasting impact.

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