Yale spin-out first to ‘graduate’ from CI Pre-Seed Fund to Seed Investment Fund
Rocky Hill, Conn., August 8, 2011 – Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development, today announced that it has made a $250,000 investment in NovaTract Surgical LLC (NovaTract) of New Haven, Conn., through its Seed Investment Fund. This investment is part of a $500,000 investment round also involving LaunchCapital, Advantage Capital Connecticut and an individual investor. NovaTract is the first company to “graduate” from CI’s Pre-Seed Fund to its Seed Investment Fund.
“We are thrilled with NovaTract’s progress thus far and pleased to announce that all our pre-seed investors have continued on with us to the seed round, in addition to a new investor,” stated Eleanor Tandler, co-founder and chief executive of NovaTract. “We feel fortunate to have had such dedicated partners from the very beginning. It’s a testament to the state of Connecticut’s commitment to provide the necessary resources and support for startups.”
NovaTract is developing medical devices that will be used in reducing the number of incisions used in minimally invasive surgery. The company has licensed its core technology from Yale University. Kurt E. Roberts, M.D., an assistant professor of gastrointestinal and general surgery at Yale University School of Medicine and NovaTract’s scientific founder, developed the technology and related techniques for its use.
NovaTract is focusing initially on developing an internal organ retraction device that will benefit patients who must undergo abdominal surgery such as gall bladder removals and appendectomies. The device will allow general surgeons to reduce the number of incisions required to perform the surgery laparoscopically and also more easily use the single-port and natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) methods, which currently require such a high level of skill that they are used by only about a dozen surgeons in the United States. Reducing the number of incisions per surgery offers several advantages. It results in less pain and scarring for the patient and shorter recovery times, due to the lower risk of post-operative infection, adhesion and hernias in the abdominal wall. The company’s device will help make such surgeries easier to perform and save surgeons time.
“CI recognized the potential of NovaTract and its innovative technology early on and provided support through our Pre-Seed Fund,” said Peter Longo, president and executive director of CI. “We applaud the company for meeting its early goals and earning a new investment from CI through our Seed Investment Fund. NovaTract is well positioned to take advantage of the rising trend toward single-port laparoscopy and the growing demand for hand instruments in such surgeries.”
David Wurzer, CI managing director, investments, will represent CI on NovaTract’s board.
About Connecticut Innovations, Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is a quasi-public organization dedicated to driving a vibrant, entrepreneurial, technology-based economy in Connecticut. CI stimulates high-tech growth by investing in early-stage Connecticut technology companies, university/industry research collaborations, technology transfer, and clean energy initiatives through the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CI also fosters collaboration among government, business, nonprofit and academic organizations to advance technology growth and promotes public policies consistent with CI’s mission. For more information on CI, please visit www.ctinnovations.com.
About NovaTract Surgical LLC
NovaTract Surgical LLC (NovaTract) was founded to develop new, innovative laparoscopic medical devices to address minimally invasive surgery. Our initial product addresses the need to reduce the number of incisions necessary to perform minimally invasive surgery. Surgeries involving fewer incisions result in less pain and scarring, lower risk of infection, adhesion or hernias in the abdomen wall, and, in turn, shorter recovery times. For more information, please go to www.novatract.com.
Contacts: Emily Smith
Managing Director, External Relations
Phone: (860) 257-2337
On behalf of Connecticut Innovations
Phone: (860) 841-3921