With UM System funding, new biotech firms take root in Columbia

In the face of proposed budget cuts, the University of Missouri System is taking a do-it-yourself approach to statewide economic recovery.

The tactic is entrepreneurial and pragmatic. Short on jobs? Make some. Seeking scientific breakthroughs? Support research. Need a way to convert ideas and talents — the melding of Missouri’s great minds — into marketable products that can improve lives? Make an investment.

Buoying both the economy and the academy, the UM System’s Enterprise Investment Program, a funding source for Missouri high-tech startup companies, is contributing to two new ventures conceived at MU.

System leaders have announced EIP awards of up to $400,000 for HLB Horizons, a nanotechnology company that manufactures chemical compounds used in semiconductors and rechargeable batteries, and up to $200,000 for EternoGen, a medical-device company that produces a long-lasting biological collagen scaffold used as a soft-tissue filler. EIP also helped procure for EternoGen an additional $100,000 from Missouri IDEA Funds and $200,000 from Centennial Investors, a Columbia-based angel investment network.

[Mizzou Wire]