Tech Transfer eNews Blog

UAMS BioVentures gets $3M to support health tech entrepreneurs from economically disadvantaged backgrounds

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 15th, 2023

BioVentures, the tech transfer office of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), has received a nearly $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to support health tech entrepreneurs from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The four-year $2,999,997 grant comes from the Capital Readiness Program, launched by the Minority Business Development Agency to help underserved entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses.

The funding will support BioVentures and the Arkansas Collaborative for Technological and Innovative Venture Equality (ACTIVE), a statewide start-up incubator focused on socially and economically disadvantaged founders aiming to develop health-related companies in Arkansas.

“The Capital Readiness Program grant is a game changer for BioVentures and ACTIVE,” says Kevin Sexton, president of BioVentures. “This initiative could double the number of health technology companies in Arkansas, and those new additions would be from socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.”

Shuk-Mei Ho, vice chancellor for Research and Innovation at UAMS, adds that small businesses make up a significant portion of the state’s economy yet often face funding and support challenges, in addition to the challenge of biases based on gender, race, disability, veteran status and other factors.

“BioVentures has unique expertise and a track record of supporting start-ups and fostering innovation,” Ho says. “By working with our many partners on the grant, we have a great opportunity to accelerate health tech innovation and drive economic growth across Arkansas communities.”

Source: UAMS News

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