b'A s Colorados reputation as a leadingIt is so important to find HOW the way. hub for bioscience grows across thefunders that will be a great fit for your company in terms of country, the state continues to make strides in startup funding, breaking records alongthe support they can provide you based on the technology In 2021, the community took a giant stepand stage of your company.FUNDEDforward, smashing the previous high mark forEngineeringattheColoradoThanks to a connection made by the tech capital raised by Colorado life science entities.MELISSA KREBS, PH.D., FOUNDER & CEO, GELSANA In total, Colorados life sciences ecosystem raised $2.4 billion in 2021, a new record forGelSana:the diverse community that includes compa- Growing in the Lab transfer office at Mines, Krebs was connected nies at all stages. The fundraising total wasto Innosphere Ventures, which invested in a double the $1.2 billion raised in 2020. As an Associate Professor in Chemical andpre-seed round that enabled Krebs to launch Biological THIS Leaders Share the StoriesLGH This capital came from high-profile IPOs, addi- School of Mines, Melissa Krebs, Ph.D. isntGelSana and to also take part in Innospheres tional capital raised in public markets, an injec- a traditional startup founder. So, when sheincubator cohort in fall 2020. That experience tion of venture dollars to fast-growth startups,launched her company GelSana Therapeuticswould prove invaluable for Krebs and would and grants from federal and state sources. (Fitzsimons Innovation Community, Aurora),set the company on the path to success.Behind Their Success With the variety of capital available, the pathKrebs sought mentorship in addition toAs an academic scientist, you dont typically to fundraising is winding and often unique tofunding opportunities. have training in founding startup compa-WRITTEN BY NIC K GREENHA each company. That, combined with a vola- GelSana, born out of Professor Krebs labnies, she said of the founder experience. tile global market, has created an interestingat Mines, is developing novel hydrogels toThe combination of having funding and funding landscape that Colorado companiesimprove wound healing for diabetic ulcerssupport and mentoring to get this off the have been forced to navigate. From first-timeand other wounds. The companys systemsground was critical.founders to big names in the industry, manyoffer healing properties that reduce inflam- Nearly a year after first working together, Coloradolifesciencescompanieshavemation, accelerate wound closure, andGelSana and Innosphere furthered their thrived during these tumultuous times andenable controlled delivery of therapeuticsrelationship and Innosphere led the com-now are sharing the lessons theyve learnedto benefit certain types of wounds. panys seed round of funding in September from the fundraising journey. 2021. That capital has allowed the company to make outside hires and focus its develop-The GelSana team is developing novel hydrogels to heal wounds faster with less inflammation. Funding sourcesment efforts for its first product.included investment from Innosphere Ventures and a state-funded Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant.The Foresight Diagnostics team opened a new state-of-the-art CLIA laboratory at Fitzsimons Innovation Community in June of 2022.30 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO 2022-2023 2022-2023 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO 31'