Walder Ventures Becomes Founding Sponsor of Portal Innovations

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Investment and Collaboration Support Scientific Innovation by Providing Capital, Infrastructure, and Expertise to Early-Stage Life Sciences Companies.

Portal Innovations and Walder Ventures today announced their formal relationship to inspire and support science, innovation and entrepreneurship through educational programming to the Chicago regional ecosystem. The multi-year collaboration between the organizations is catalyzed by their aligned interests to attract and retain the best talent in the region. The organizations did not disclose financial terms.

Walder Ventures’ investment in Portal Innovations aims to encourage and support scientific innovation and education for science entrepreneurs and innovators. As the most unique venture assembly and investment platform in the region, Portal Innovations is bringing together scientific ideation and entrepreneurial realization for life sciences, medtech and bioinformatics companies. Portal invests seed capital, management expertise, and best-in-class lab and office space in high potential start-ups that are developing breakthrough products to help patients.

Walder Ventures’ focus on science innovation is driven by Joseph Walder, MD, Ph.D., who spent his career developing breakthrough technologies in academic research before founding a biotech company, Integrated DNA Technologies, now part of the Danaher life sciences platform, that produces synthetic DNA and RNA for life sciences research and industry. Portal Innovations is Walder Ventures’ inaugural investment.

“We are thrilled to make this investment, which will support scientific entrepreneurs and science education in our region,” said Elizabeth Walder, President of Walder Ventures. “The rapid development of the COVID-19 vaccine demonstrates the value of investment in breakthrough life sciences research to help achieve better health outcomes. I look forward to working with the Portal team to expand educational programs and forums to inspire future generations of scientific entrepreneurs.”

In addition to providing seed capital for early-stage companies through Portal's unique platform, the relationship further fulfills Walder Ventures’ goals of supporting science education, opportunity, and STEM training. To help nurture the region’s current and next generation of scientists, Portal will host a series of Walder Ventures-sponsored events showcasing young scientists from Chicago-area high schools and colleges to demystify scientific careers and encourage further study. Portal will also host quarterly networking events and seminars to connect Chicago’s life sciences community in further partnership with Fulton Labs.

“Our partnership with Walder Ventures is a natural fit. Both organizations share a clear vision of elevating Chicago and the region’s scientific contributions to the world and believe that one of the most important ingredients to sustainable success is attracting and retaining the best scientific and entrepreneurial talent.” said John Flavin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Portal Innovations. “Dr. Walder has been an inspiration to me and so many people as an entrepreneur, a scientist, and as a human being. Our partnership with the Walders honors his legacy of building a game-changing life sciences company from scratch and his desire to help other entrepreneurs navigate a similar journey.”

About Portal Innovations
Portal Innovations is a premier venture development engine that bridges scientific ideation in life sciences, medtech and bioinformatics through commercial proof of concept by delivering seed capital, specialized equipment and lab space and management expertise to high-potential early-stage companies. For more information visit portalinno.com.

About Walder Ventures
Walder Ventures provides mission-driven investments to enhance the vibrancy and sustainability of the Chicago region and beyond. Joseph and Elizabeth Walder established Walder Ventures in 2020 to support a broad portfolio of programs and organizations that aim to have a positive and sustaining impact on Chicago and its communities. Among the areas the Walders seek to promote are science innovation, environmental sustainability, performing arts, a city that is welcoming to immigrants, and empowered Jewish communities. For more information visit walderventures.com.

Media Contacts
Portal Innovations
John Flavin
(630) 297-1600

Bill Rader
(312) 318-7054

Walder Ventures
Marci May
(312) 282-1581

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Bill Rader
CG Life
+1 312 318 7054
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John Flavin
Portal Innovations
(630) 297-1600
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