The Wolverine Venture Fund, managed by students at The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, today announced it has invested in NeuMoDx Molecular, Inc., a privately held diagnostics company developing a new platform for high throughput, low cost molecular testing. The $21 million Series B round of financing was led by Pfizer Ventures and also included investments from Baird Capital, Venture Investors and existing investor Arboretum Ventures. The Wolverine Venture Fund also participated in NeuMoDx’ $5 million Series A financing round in 2012.
This financing will be used to fund development of the NeuMoDx 500 Molecular IVD System, a fully automated, random access platform capable of performing RNA and DNA-based assays. In addition to completing platform development, this funding will enable the company to pursue clinical trials and regulatory approvals for the system’s first assays.
Faculty Managing Director, Prof. Erik Gordon, said the students performed professional-level follow-up due diligence on the technical and market adoption aspects of the investment, and concluded that it fit the Fund’s criteria for growth and return on investment. Gordon added, “The students as a group bring to the table broad array of expertise, including scientific, engineering, marketing, clinical and financial experience.”
The $5.5 million Wolverine Venture Fund was the country’s first student-led venture fund and serves as a shining example of the Institute’s action-based approach to entrepreneurial education. The Fund’s student members seek, screen and negotiate investments and develop significant experience in these areas – and in working with VCs and entrepreneurs. Since its inception, the Wolverine Venture Fund has invested more than three dozen companies in a wide range of innovative industries such as information technology, life sciences and alternative energy. A team of students drove the investment in ArborMetrix, including sourcing the deal and conducting all necessary due diligence, negotiation and collaboration with other investors.
“Students from the Wolverine Venture Fund have been a valuable addition to the strategic investment team for NeuMoDx Molecular, and we are delighted they are part of our Series B,” stated Jeff Williams, Founder and CEO of NeuMoDx. “My experience working with the University of Michigan and the Wolverine Venture Fund goes beyond NeuMoDX. Like the student teams who participated in funding my prior company HandyLab, our current Wolverine Venture Fund team represents a broad cross-section of business expertise providing valuable perspective as we continue with development, clinical trials and approvals.”