Ohio-based CerviLenz, a developer of technology identifying women at risk of pre-term birth, has had an eventful year since its presentation at the 2010 Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS). The company is currently in a controlled launch environment, targeting specific geographies and milestones. Studies are likely to wrap this year demonstrating the usefulness of the company’s technology in clinical practice. The focus for 2011 is market demonstration and the launch of its B round of funding, while looking toward 2012 to begin revenue ramp.
CerviLenz President, CEO, and Member of the Board of Directors Dean Koch said the company heard about the Symposium through its lead A round investor, Arboretum Ventures. The Ann Arbor, Michigan based firm maintains an office in the Cleveland area, and was joined by Louisville, Kentucky based Chrysalis Ventures in closing the company’s first funding round. “I was introduced to them through some contacts here in Northeast Ohio,” said Koch. “We don’t need a lot of capital; for a lot of venture firms, our capital needs are just too light for them to consider. Arboretum and Chrysalis are right there in our sweet spot. So that’s what brought me to Michigan. We were putting together a calendar of some symposiums to begin attracting and developing a list of potential B Round investors, and they suggested the Symposium would be a good fit.”
Koch noted that networking was a highlight of the company’s participation in the MGCS. “I gave the pitch, and had an opportunity to talk to a number of venture funds from around the country and a number of people from the Michigan area as well,” he said. “I had an opportunity to talk with a couple of patent attorneys who were interested in our technology and some of the plans for the technology. I had an opportunity to identify a few funds that would potentially play a role in our B Round.
“That’s the purpose at this point: to get a widening group of funds that are aware of us, and see where there might be some matches based on the size of their funds – whether they have an expertise in devices or healthcare. By developing a relationship with them over time, they get an opportunity to see us as a management team hit our milestones.”
CerviLenz is looking for funds to partner with Arboretum and Chrysalis on its B round. “I want to make sure we’ve got a good universe of funds who can play that role for us,” said Koch.