UNIVERSITIES AND RESEARCH INSTITUTES

 

TechAccel brings private capital to invest in, acquire, and advance early-stage discoveries and technologies in plant and animal agriculture, animal health and nutrition, and related areas including food safety and quality and crop processing.

 

TechAccel makes early-stage investment in promising technologies for which a proof of concept has been demonstrated. TechAccel partners with inventors and the university to fund and execute focused research.

The goal of TechAccel Science advancement is to reduce technical risk and move the technology closer to becoming
a valuable product or service.

TechAccel partners with
Agriculture & Animal Health Industry leaders to:

  • Identify technology needs, gaps, transformative technologies, or adjacency opportunities
  • Identify or acquire the best available technology solutions
  • Co-fund science advancement research to mitigate risk with early-stage technology development
  • Transition technology to regulatory or launch pipeline after development benchmarks are achieved.

TechAccel also invests equity in early-stage companies. We have an "Equity-Plus" model: our equity investments are always accompanied by additional investments develop the company's technology platform for adjacent markets.

         

  1. Subject-Matter Expertise: TechAccel contracts university faculty as consultants for investment due diligence activities and research scoping.
  2. Research Capabilities: TechAccel sponsors research at universities to advance and de-risk portfolio technologies.
  3. Innovation: TechAccel seeks early-stage innovations and partners with the university to fund research and advance innovation toward commercialization.
  4. Emerging Companies: TechAccel provides equity capital and support to university start-up companies that match our interest areas.

DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

DOWNLOAD our four-page PDF that details how TechAccel works with research organizations, gives examples of our projects, and highlights our key interest areas.

EXAMPLES OF TECHACCEL INVESTMENT AND SCIENCE ADVANCEMENT

These two examples provide insight to TechAccel's unique investment thesis. TechAccel values its university relationships to source new technologies and companies to invest in, and to conduct science advancement research and development. We have also executed master research agreements with select universities, which facilitate the execution of future research projects and relationships. 

EPICROP TECHNOLOGIES INC.

TechAccel has invested in Epicrop Technologies Inc., an agriculture biotechnology company spun out of the University of Nebraska. The company has developed an epigenetic technology to improve crop yields and performance. Professor Sally Mackenzie invented the technology while at Nebraska; she is now at Penn State University.

TechAccel made an additional science advancement investment to apply Epicrop's technology to improve two additional crops. TechAccel has engaged faculty at several universities to conduct the research and development work.

The larger field trial stage is expected to pique the interest of global strategic companies, which are the likely customers for the de-risked and developed technologies.

WHEAT YIELD (EARLY STAGE INVESTMENT IN A UNIVERSITY TECHNOLOGY)

TechAccel has invested in a novel technology discovered by Professor Harold Trick at Kansas State University that minimizes the stress-induced wheat yield losses resulting from elevated temperatures during grain-fill. Due to climate change, this is increasingly a problem worldwide. TechAccel has licensed this technology from K-State and is partnering to advance the technology to a commercial-ready state.

Dr. Trick demonstrated a transgenic wheat approach: adding a gene for a temperature-tolerant version of a particular enzyme from a different plant species relieved much of wheat's high-temperature-induced yield loss. TechAccel then worked with Dr. Trick to develop a gene-editing strategy to convert the endogenous temperature-sensitive wheat enzyme to a heat-tolerant version.

Work performed at K-State identified natural wheat variants of the enzyme with different levels of heat stability. The second project phase in the laboratory of Professor Justin Siegel at the University of California, Davis, used this information coupled with enzyme engineering, to discover a better heat-stable version of the wheat enzyme. Gene editing converts the endogenous wheat enzymes to the improved design. After large-scale field trials, one of more global strategic companies will be the likely customer for the developed technology.

PLANT AGRICULTURE INVESTMENT AREAS

CROP IMPROVEMENT & ASSOCIATED TECHNOLOGIES

  • High-value niche crops including fruits, vegetables, tree-crops, and minor row crops. We are also interested in the major row crops including canola, corn, soy, wheat, etc.
  • Novel non-GM breeding and trait technologies -- Epicrop Technologies is an example of such a technology that we have invested in.
  • Plant gene-editing targets and strategies to improve agronomic qualities (yield, disease or stress resistance) or other consumer-oriented traits (improved nutrition, flavor or other). Traits that only have model plant (such as Arabidopsis) data supporting them are less likely to interest us.
  • We are generally NOT interested in genetically modified (GM) traits. But if you have a GM plant as a proof of concept, and have a strategy to recapitulate that trait via gene editing to produce a non-GM variety, we may be interested.

PLANT PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGIES

  • Biologicals including microbes and/or microbial extracts, peptides, RNA strategies, or bacteriophages, to improve plant performance or to control diseases or insects.
  • Microbes or other strategies to improve soil health.
  • Technologies to deliver and/or stabilize biologicals in the field or on the plant.
  • Sensors, imaging and other engineering technologies that deliver clear, actionable information to a farmer in a cost-effective way.
  • Analytic/diagnostic technologies that cost effectively deliver actionable information to a farmer; ideally, technologies that are rapid and field deployable.

POST-HARVEST OR POST-FARMGATE TECHNOLOGIES

  • Technologies to monitor and manage ripeness.
  • Technologies to reduce crop spoilage, improve storage life and maintain taste and nutrition quality.
  • Novel grain or crop processing technologies and/or byproducts.
  • Technologies to reduce, eliminate, or rapidly screen for disease organisms on harvested crops.

ANIMAL HEALTH & NUTRITION INVESTMENT AREAS 

VACCINE TECHNOLOGIES

  • Effective and novel vaccine designs targeting major animal diseases.
  • Novel delivery platforms, especially oral, that can potentially be used for a variety of vaccines.
  • Aquaculture vaccines, particularly orally available.
  • Companion animal vaccines that address a large market with an unmet need.

ANIMAL HEALTH BIOLOGICS AND TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC USE

  • Immune stimulants, novel biologics such as peptides, antibodies or RNAs targeting major diseases.
  • Novel methods for production or deliver of biologics. For instance, production of active antibodies in a plant or microorganism for use as a feed additive.
  • Bacteriophages targeting animal disease pathogens for prophylactic use or treatment of clinical cases.

ANIMAL NUTRITION

  • Novel animal feed additives.
  • Effective fish-meal replacements for aquaculture.
  • Priobiotics, microbes, microbial extracts to improve animal health, productivity and well-being

Have an idea you'd like to share? We're listening.

Please visit the contact form and provide a brief overview of your concept. We look forward to hearing from you.