July 11, 2023

Public Ventures Launches $100M Fund For Research-Based Life Science And Climate Tech Startups

Public Ventures Fund

Founding President at Public Ventures, Zoey Dash McKenzie, has launched a $100 million impact fund to nurture the next generation of life science and climate tech startups emerging from academic research.

TechCrunch reports that McKenzie is particularly keen to support Canada-based life science and clean tech startups that focus on improving health equity and supporting climate preparedness for underserved communities. 

Investing in climate equity

According to UN Women, women and girls experience the most significant impacts of climate change, amplifying existing gender inequalities and posing unique threats to their livelihoods, health, and safety.

Other reports also found that of the 1.3 billion people in low and middle-income countries living below the poverty line, 70% are female.

Climate-related hazards, including extreme heat, flooding, and wildfires, have been linked to specific problems in women, such as anemia, eclampsia, low birth weight, preterm birth, and miscarriages.

Unlocking innovation

McKenzie wrote on LinkedIn that the fund “aims to invest in groundbreaking early-stage companies in both climate and healthcare.”

“Our mission is to unlock innovation, transform industries, and forge a path towards a sustainable and healthier world.”

The fund decided to employ a waterfall structure, make assessments on a deal-by-deal basis and then return funds to their LPs earlier.

McKenzie told TechCrunch that they’re now accelerating capital velocity at the early stage when it’s needed most, so they sit in the middle of government grants and traditional venture capital.

The fund is based in the US but will focus mainly on Canada as it benefits from a lot of research funding and has some of the best hospitals and universities in the world, said McKenzie.

The kind of impact investing Public Ventures intends to do will also “address an issue where Canadians have a bit of a challenge in terms of scaling up the innovation,” she added.

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Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.