04/16/2009

ARCH Venture Partners and UTEC - The University of Tokyo Edge Capital - Form Alliance

Accelerate Commercialization of Global Technologies




TOKYO, JAPAN (April 16 2009) - UTEC (The University of Tokyo Edge Capital) and ARCH Venture Partners today announced that they formed an alliance aimed at accelerating the creation of new ventures based on technologies sourced from US and Japanese premier universities and research institutions.

UTEC is an early stage technology focused venture capital firm associated with The University of Tokyo, which is regarded as the best research university in Japan. UTEC was founded in 2004, the year the Japanese National University Reform took place. This reform allowed the University of Tokyo to become independent of the government, retaining title to the intellectual properties created at the University and enabling the University to license those properties or to use them to create new companies, similar to the Bayh-Dole Act in the United States.

UTEC currently manages its first fund of $83 million, investing in seed/early stage start-ups based on technologies and talents out of the University. Having proprietary access to the University's inventions, UTEC works closely with its researchers as scientific founders to co-found companies which will contribute to society through business based upon innovations. UTEC has invested in 34 companies with 4 IPO and 1 M&A exits to date. Most recently, tella, Inc., a profitable bio-tech venture based upon the research at The Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo, went public on the JASDAQ NEO market on March 26, 2009, an example of a business co-founded by scientists, entrepreneurs and UTEC from the concept stage.

ARCH Venture Partners, founded in 1986, is a spin-off from an innovative technology commercialization initiative originated by The University of Chicago. ARCH has approximately $1.5 billion under management across multiple venture funds. ARCH has invested in more than 120 companies, most of them from the concept stage. A sampling of portfolio successes include early investments in Illumina, Inc. (ILMN), New Era of Networks, Inc. (sold to Sybase), and Adolor Corporation (ADLR). ARCH's successful model of technology commercialization has garnered coverage from top business journals, periodicals, and in two case studies written by distinguished academics at The Harvard Business School.

Leveraging each other's strengths, ARCH and UTEC intend to collaborate in identifying commercializable technologies at leading US and Japanese universities and research institutions. ARCH and UTEC will seek opportunities in Physical Science and Life Science fields with special interests in Clean Technologies.

Tomotaka Goji, Managing Partner of UTEC said, "Japan used to create innovative global companies which once were start-ups. To continue this tradition, Japan should continue to contribute to the world by building businesses based upon its strong R&D efforts. Until recently, leading researchers in Japan were confined inside corporations and universities, but through the National University Reform in 2004 the innovation at the Japanese national universities is more openly available on which new venture and industry can be begot. UTEC will bring Japanese innovation to the world. We are delighted to form this alliance with ARCH so that we can create synergies out of two of the major innovative countries in the world: the US and Japan. It is a great thing if we can create new industries together cross-borderly."

Hideki Tsuji, General Partner of UTEC said, "The technology focused venture capital industry in Japan is at its infancy, but it provides an attractive emerging venture capital opportunity based on Japan's strong science and technologies, as compared to the market driven venture capital growth in China and India. As technology could cross borders, through this alliance with ARCH, UTEC will build companies for global markets based on Japanese Innovation."

Keith Crandell, Co-founder and Managing Director of ARCH, said, "Leading academic institution's efforts and government policy have recently combined to create a dramatically improved climate for research based spin-offs in Japan. It is a privilege to be working with the UTEC team, the talented group of business builders and advocates that constitute the new venture activity for the University of Tokyo, the pre-eminent Japanese University. ARCH Venture Partners and UTEC look forward to collaborating on the creation of the next generation of scientific breakthrough companies."

Steven Lazarus, Co-founding Managing Director, Emeritus, of ARCH said in his Keynote speech at the UTEC 5th year anniversary event held today at the University of Tokyo Koshiba Hall - a symbolic place named after 2002 Nobel Laureate in Physics and Honorary Professor Emeritus Masatoshi Koshiba of the University of Tokyo, who started his research career at The University of Chicago in 1955 - "ARCH is delighted to be working with UTEC, a component of the University of Tokyo just as ARCH was a component of the University of Chicago. We look forward to collaborating with the UTEC team to find the best science and technology, and to help transform it into successful commercial enterprises. In our work together, we will continue to be guided by a strong focus on doing what is in the best interest of each company to make it successful."

Press contacts:

ARCH Venture Partners - http://www.archventure.com
Mark McDonnell, (773) 380 6600

UTEC - The University of Tokyo Edge Capital -
Ted Yamamoto: +81-3-5841-1490