i2E recently led a $1.84 million investment round in Moleculera Labs Inc. with an investment of $700,000 through the Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund. The balance came from SeedStep Angels and other angel investor groups.
There are important messages here.
First, we do have a continuum of investment capital in Oklahoma for early stage companies.
We may not have much venture capital here, but we've figured out a plan B that works — state-appropriated investment capital coupled with the active participation of SeedStep Angels, our own homegrown angel group, and syndication with other angel investors to bring their investment dollars into our state. This deal included an angel group from St. Louis and individual angel investors from Austin, Texas.
We are able to syndicate because of SeedStep Angels' credibility in the national angel community. These angels have invested more than $3.7 million in entrepreneurial ventures since the group was founded by i2E in 2009.
Second, Oklahoma is home to breakthrough biotechnology.
The Cunningham Panel, resulting from the outstanding research by Dr. Madeline Cunningham, professor at the University of Oklahoma and co-founder of Moleculera, predicts a patient's likelihood of having Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococci (PANDAS), an acute-onset neurological disorder of OCD and motor tics that is often associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
For the first time, this breakthrough test aids physicians in diagnosing PANDAS, which then can lead to appropriate treatment and improved outcomes for children and their families.
DID YOU KNOW?
The largest share of Oklahoma's bioscience patents over the last six years was in biochemistry, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and surgical and medical instruments.