Serra Ventures Publishes New White Paper on VC Funding

When it comes to obtaining funding for your start-up, Serra Ventures believes there is plenty the entrepreneur can do to make their investment opportunity more attractive to the VC.

Serra Ventures has published the new white paper titled “How to View Your Company Through the Eyes of the Investor,” which contains tips for how to be better chosen for funding.


Phi Optics Featured on

Phi Optics, Inc., a Serra Capital portfolio company, was recently featured on The company, which develops imaging solutions for life sciences and bio-pharma researchers, has secured $250,000 in seed funding from venture capital funds.


Diagnostic Photonics and Oso Technologies Both Listed in Crain Chicago Magazine’s “Six Hot Startups”

Diagnostic Photonics and Oso Technologies, two Serra Capital portfolio companies, were both listed in Crain Chicago magazine’s “Six Hot Startups” on September 30.  Both companies represent two of the hottest growing sectors in Chicago.



Serra Capital Has First Liquidity Event

Serra Capital had its first liquidity event of its 24 portfolio companies this past week.  Serra Capital portfolio company Infochimps was sold to Computer Sciences Corporation on August 5, 2013.  Earlier in 2013, Infochimps acquired the assets of Caterva, Inc, the company in which Serra Capital originally invested. Caterva was created to develop a real-time social marketing platform with specialized data mining algorithms. Infochimps is a company offering unique “big data” management capabilities.

Serra’s limited partners received a positive return on their investment. Tim Hoerr, Managing Partner of Serra Capital said, “Serra Capital is pleased to experience our first portfolio company exit with the Infochimps acquisition.  With the fund less than three years old, it is exciting to see a positive return on our first liquidity event.”


EnterpriseWorks Named “One of Three College-Town Incubators Worth Watching” by Inc. Magazine

The June 2013 issue of Inc. Magazine declares EnterpriseWorks, the technology business incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park, as one of three college-town incubators worth watching.

Highlights of the article include the incubator’s strengths, such as entrepreneur counseling and support. It also mentions that EnterpriseWorks clients and graduates have raised more than $550 million in outside capital. IntelliWheels, a Serra Capital portfolio company and one of EnterpriseWorks tenants, is called out as “a company that has created a patent-pending gear system for manual wheelchairs was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health and has raised more than $500,000 in funding.”


HercuTech Featured in Builder & Developer Magazine

HercuTech, a Serra Capital Portfolio company, was recently featured in Builder & Developer Magazine. HercuTech has recently commenced delivery of their product, HercuWall®, to Meritage Homes, one of the nation’s largest production homebuilders.


NIH Awards Immuven $1.68 Million for MRSA Therapeutics

ImmuVen, a Serra Capital portfolio company, was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant totaling $1.68 million from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIH) for continuing development of its therapeutic pipeline (IMV0123) against superantigens produced by methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcal aureus. This award continues the work previously supported by a successfully completed Phase I SBIR grant. ImmuVen’s biotherapeutic approach to neutralizing superantigen toxicity is uniquely positioned to intervene in deaths and morbidity caused by superantigen production in a host of S. aureus infections including pneumonia and endocarditis. The goal of this award is to provide support for bringing IMV0123 through a pre-IND meeting with the FDA in addition to completing major milestones in the preclinical development of the therapeutic. ImmuVen is a biotechnology company located at EnterpriseWorks in the Research Park with novel technology to discover and develop new biotherapeutics to treat infectious disease, cancer and autoimmune disorders.  Based on proprietary technology developed in the laboratories of its scientific founders, ImmuVen’s platform allows rapid selection and optimization of soluble TCR receptors with high affinity to important targets in infectious diseases, such as bacterial toxins and viral antigens presented on host cells, as well as specific markers on cancer cells or in autoimmune pathways.


Serra Ventures Publishes New White Paper on Eric Reis’s “The Lean Startup”

At Serra Ventures, we believe a constant pursuit of excellence, adaption to change, and perseverance are key to building a high performance company.

Many of our philosophies and strategies align with those of Harvard Business School startup advisor, entrepreneur, and author, Eric Ries. As a seasoned business executive that has advised numerous companies, both established and startup, in addition to an array of venture capital firms, Ries has seen and experienced it all when it comes to the challenges of building a company.