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VC Fund Gains $100M for University, Defense Lab Spinoffs

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Allied Minds, a venture capital (VC) company in Boston starting companies that commercialize research from university and U.S. federal labs, raised $100 million for its next series of investments. The company says closing this funding round brings its total assets to about $500 million.

Allied Minds makes early-stage investments, sometimes soon after the point of invention, and takes an active role in the formation of new companies to commercialize federally-funded research and development. Chris Silva, the company’s CEO, says Allied Minds fills a need for capital and guidance early in the commercialization life-cycle, while traditional VCs tend to focus on later-stage investments.

The seven year-old company gives considerable attention to commercializing research funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. In September 2012, the company created a subsidiary, Allied Minds Federal Innovations, to establish public-private partnerships with the research and engineering commands in the U.S. Army and Navy, as well as the Aerospace Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation and federal R&D center working for the Air Force. The partnerships establish a platform, says the company, for moving research discoveries more quickly from the lab to the marketplace.

Allied Minds established relationships with technology transfer offices at 40 universities and research institutes, including the Berkeley, Livermore, and Los Alamos national labs. University collaborations, says the company, aims to share equity with the institutions and commercialize research only after being proven and not according to artificial timelines.

Since its founding, Allied Minds created 26 companies, commercializing research from both the life and physical sciences. The companies are formed as subsidiaries of Allied Minds, then funded and managed by a company director through prototyping and manufacturing. Once a subsidiary is generating revenue, it is prepared for liquidity, through an initial public offering or by acquisition.

Among the company’s subsidiaries is CryoXtract Instruments, in Woburn, Massachusetts jointly owned by Harvard University and Northeastern University. In May, CryoXtract received a U.S. patent for the handling and management of frozen biosamples, and preserving the samples from damaging thaw/freeze cycles. Another subsidiary, SoundCure Inc. in San Jose, California, is developing a device treat symptoms of tinnitus — ringing in the ears — based on research conducted at University of California in Irvine.

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Hat tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

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