Deerfield Management Company, a New York City-based healthcare investment firm, launched the X-Seed Award, a new program designed to support early-stage life science startups.
Award winners will be women and other minority founders in New York City.
The X-Seed Award was created by Deerfield as a result of the partnership announced in September 2019 with NYCEDC to develop the Cure life science campus, which is slated to open in January 2021. The campus is bringing together innovators from academia, government, industry, and the not-for-profit sectors to advance human health and accelerate the fight against disease. Occupants will benefit from laboratories, engineering and computing space, as well as other amenities and support services.
The X-Seed Award program, with a 20+ year commitment, will provide funding for a diverse population of the most talented researchers and entrepreneurs in New York City. It will help address a critical funding gap, bridging promising translational research to marketplace and commercial success.
Each year, the award will have a specific focus with Deerfield selecting five teams that will be awarded a total of up to $500,000.
Finalists will have an opportunity to present their startups to a panel which includes: Claire Pomeroy, MD, President and CEO of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation; Nancy Thornberry, CEO at Kallyope, Inc.; James E. Flynn, Managing Partner of Deerfield; Elise Wang, Principal at Deerfield; and Joseph Pearlberg, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Deerfield, among others.
For 2021, given the state of the pandemic, the focus will be on infectious disease.
Deadline for submission is January 29, 2021 and the winners will be announced in March.
In addition to receiving award funding, the winning teams will join a two-year cohort of their fellow awardees. The teams will be provided with peer-learning, and office hours with leading investors, entrepreneurs, and business experts. Through the X-Seed Award cohort, it is anticipated that these startups will bolster their network and significantly raise their visibility. Graduates of each cohort will in turn serve as mentors and coaches for future cohorts, further strengthening the entrepreneurial community in New York City.