Funding Innovation

Investing in Our Technologies

We invest in the early stages of the technologies being developed here at Wake Forest Baptist to increase their value and give them the best chance of making it to market. Our team works directly with inventors to match their ideas with the right type and amount of funding for each technology’s development and commercialization.

The Catalyst Fund

Our signature internal funding mechanism is the Catalyst Fund, a $15 million technology development program established in 2015 and managed by Pappas Capital. The Catalyst Fund is designed to provide seed loan investment to 25 to 30 technologies in the next three to five years.

How Does the Catalyst Fund Work

In 2015, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center created the Catalyst Fund, a $15 million technology development program to accelerate the development of innovative life science technologies at Wake Forest Baptist. These technologies include medical devices, drugs, vaccines, restorative medicines, diagnostics and digital health. The program aims to invest in as many as 25 – 30 novel, high-potential technologies over 3 – 5 years.

Managed by Pappas Capital, a leading life science investment firm in Durham, NC, the Catalyst Fund makes investments in the form of project funding for Wake Forest Baptist technologies being developed at Wake Forest Innovations that have the potential to make a significant impact on clinical practice and to attract licensing interest. Technologies are presented to a steering committee comprised of external scientists and industry experts. The steering committee then makes recommendations to Pappas Capital about which technologies merit investment, with a corresponding development plan. Catalyst-supported technologies remain the intellectual property of Wake Forest Baptist.

Awards from the Catalyst Fund are provided according to the needs of the project. The goal is to support activities that can increase the value of a technology and the likelihood of it being licensed by an established company or a start-up that will complete its product development, secure its regulatory approval, manufacture it and introduce it to clinical practice and the marketplace. Such activities include:

  • Advanced prototyping
  • Chemical synthesis
  • Pharmacokinetic studies
  • Preclinical or clinical proof-of-concept studies
  • Safety testing
  • Market research

By making significant investments in our proprietary technologies through the Catalyst Fund, Wake Forest Innovations and Pappas Capital are working together to translate high-impact technologies into valuable products that can improve health—the mission of the Medical Center and a win for patients and industry partners.

If you are a member of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, learn more about how the Catalyst Fund can be used to develop your technologies.

Other Funding Sources

Because it often takes multiple funding sources matched to the stage of development to realize the pre-licensing value of a technology, our team facilitates other funding including:

Want to Learn More?

Start a conversation with us if you have questions about how we invest in our technologies or want more information about the technologies we support.
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