Sofia Fund Makes Third Investment in Cognition Therapeutics

Sofia Fund recently announced its third investment in Cognition Therapeutics, Inc. (CogRx), a Pittsburgh-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and manufactures innovative therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders. The Sofia Fund investment was part of Cognition Therapeutic’s most recent financing round, through which the company hopes to raise up to $5 million. “CogRx continues to hit its milestones, which are significant advancements in the development of breakthrough drugs that protect synapses, stopping the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Cathy Connett, managing partner of Sofia Fund, and a 25-year angel investor in early stage companies, particularly those that are women-led. “We believe in the value proposition of the company. Its products address a significant problem – the threat of Alzheimer’s – that affects a large population: five million people in the U.S. alone currently live with the disease.”  Connett adds that the investment team at Sofia Fund also recognized the strength of the company’s diverse leadership team and its vision. “Sofia Fund has been a strong funding partner from the start,” said Cognition Therapeutics Chief Science Officer Dr. Susan Catalano, who co-founded the company in 2007. “This investment in our research comes at a critical time. We are about to begin key clinical trials with Elayta™ (CT1812) in Alzheimer’s disease patients in the United States. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in this country, killing more people each year than breast and prostate cancer combined.” Cognition is focused on advancing the development of Elayta, an experimental medicine that is designed to protect synapses from one of the toxic proteins that causes Alzheimer’s...

Angels Tell the Truth: What Makes a New Company Fundable

By Cathy Connett, CEO and Managing Partner, Sofia Fund   There’s more than $100 billion dollars currently being invested annually by venture capitalists, private equity firms and angel investors.  Why do some businesses get a piece of the action and others don’t? It comes down to the fundability of the company. Entrepreneurs may think they have a great business idea, but investors may not see it that way. To learn why, entrepreneurs need to look at their business from the investor’s point of view. Just like the founder, investors are looking for a match made in heaven – when both company founder and investor make money in the end and all live happily ever after. As an experienced angel investor, managing partner and CEO of Sofia Fund, here’s my advice – consider this the ultimate primer on demystifying the angel world. Know Your Angels It’s not fake news that billions of dollars are being invested in start-up and early stage companies. But it’s important to know the facts about where those dollars are going – and why. Angel investing is done by a community made up of individuals, networks and funds that focus on early stage companies. In 2017, angels and other early-stage venture capitalists invested more than $37 billion in companies, according to PitchBook, which tracks every aspect of venture capital. That’s $10 billion more than later-stage venture funders. Additionally, $19.1B in overall investment went into 73 unicorns (those companies with greater that a $1 billion valuation), like Outcome Health, Uber and Reddit. While unicorns attract 23% of the invested capital, they represent less than 1% of the...

Getting a Read on Brain Function

Very interesting article in the StarTribune about HCMC’s neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani and the technology she is developing to assess brain function in real time.  The technology is licensed to Oculogica, a company she co-founded, and is embodied in their device called the Eyebox.   The Sofia Fund is an investor in Oculogica.   Read the full article...

Center for Venture Research: The Angel Investor Market in 2015: A Buyer’s Market

According to a report just published by the Center of Venture Research summarizing the 2015 Angel Investor Market, the market in 2015 had a slight increase in investment dollars and in the deal size. Total investments in 2015 were $24.6 billion, an increase of 1.9% over 2014, according to the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire. A total of 71,110 entrepreneurial ventures received angel funding in 2015, a decline of 3.1% over 2014 investments. The number of active investors in 2015 was 304,930 individuals, a decrease of 3.7% from 2014. The change in both total dollars and the number of investments resulted in a deal size for 2015 that was larger than in 2014 (an increase in deal size of 5.1% from 2014). These data, combined with the yield rates and valuations, indicate that angels were selective in their investment behavior in 2015. The decrease in valuations over the last three years indicates a continuing market correction in valuations. However, the $24.6 billion of investments is a robust amount and is close to the market high of $26.0 billion that occurred in 2007. The full report including the % of women angels as well as women led deals can be found at 2015 Angel Investing...

Sofia Angel II Fund Surpasses Investor Goals Raising $5.5 M

Press Release    July 27, 2015    Sofia Angel II Fund Surpasses Investor Goals Raising $5.5 M Today marks a significant achievement in bringing new monies into early stage companies.  The Sofia Fund, which invests in women-led, growth companies and is led by a group of experienced investors, has tapped into an investor community passionate about Sofia’s mission.  Investors have responded positively, and voted with their dollars to be a part of the fund.  The Sofia Fund II is now closed to investors, oversubscribed, with a total of $5.5M.  “Angel investing is usually a long-term commitment with an opportunity to positively impact an early-stage company’s growth.  We are pleased to see the Sofia Fund launched in support of Minnesota and the region’s innovative women entrepreneurs and the growth and jobs they bring to our economy.  Having an experienced fund management team that is serving a segment we are passionate about and stimulating innovation, led us to invest in the Sofia Fund”, said Ed and Val Spencer, long time early stage investors in their community. The fund’s management team includes Cathy Connett, Lisa Crump, Joy Lindsay, Barb Stinnett, and Dee Thibodeau.  All have been angel investors for decades, and are completely committed in unique and individual ways in the early stage company market space: as board members, mentors, connectors, leaders, and investors throughout the US. Brigid Bonner, VP of Customer Experience and Marketing at CaringBridge commented, “Great ideas come from everywhere and the world has not fully benefited from innovation stemming from women-based businesses.  The Sofia Fund is a leader in changing that.  I believe this is a unique investment opportunity...