Tucson Entrepreneurs Launch Second Fund to Advance UA-Related Startups

Jan. 24, 2019

Tucson Entrepreneurs Launch Second Fund to Advance UA-Related Startups

TUCSON, Ariz. — The founders of UAVenture Capital have announced the launch of a new venture capital fund designed to support the commercialization of University of Arizona science, services and intellectual property. 

The announcement was made by UA President Robert C. Robbins and Fletcher McCusker, co-founder of UAVenture Capital, the business driver behind the UA College of Pharmacy startup SinfoníaRx Inc.

"The activity and robust nature of UA innovation and invention requires significant startup capital, thus the reason for the second fund," said McCusker, who also founded the public company Providence Service Corp. (Nasdaq: PRSC).

UAVC is now in the process of raising money toward its target of $100 million for the second fund.

"UAVenture Capital is providing the resources that are needed to carry University of Arizona discoveries to their full potential," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "We are very grateful for the partnership of Fletcher McCusker and UAVenture Capital. Their work in behalf of the UA not only supports innovations that benefit the world, but it also helps put the university and Tucson on the map as a place where ideas can become reality."

With the help of Tech Launch Arizona – the UA office that commercializes inventions stemming from research – SinfoníaRx was sold to Tabula Rasa HealthCare in September 2017. McCusker and fund principals Larry M. Hecker and Michael N. Deitch used proceeds from that sale to reinvest in the community, starting the first UAVC fund in 2018.

That fund focused its investments on startups bringing to market UA science, technology, services and intellectual property originating from faculty, students, alumni and affiliates. Companies that received funding included several startups founded on UA-owned inventions, including Codelucida, Regulonix and FreeFall, as well as Post.Bid.Ship and Qwick, UA-associated companies launched by students. 

"We are thrilled to help fuel the UA innovation ecosystem," McCusker said. "The activity is more robust that we imagined, and we're attracting national and international attention. We see huge gains in our region's reputation as a startup harbor." 

Tech Launch Arizona Assistant Vice President Doug Hockstad noted that the starting of a second fund amplifies opportunities for UA entrepreneurs.

"The UAVC's focus on University of Arizona startups illustrates the strength of the research and intellectual property being developed here," Hockstad said. "We are extremely excited about the growth of venture capital resources and look forward to working closely with Fletcher and the UAVC to support the success of UA startups and the economic development of this region."

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Media contact:
Paul Tumarkin
Tech Launch Arizona
Office: 520-626-8770 | Cell: 520-444-6040
pault@tla.arizona.edu
Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $606 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.