Introduction

The PIPE Company LLC has developed a unique pathway and ecosystem to support TTO’s (technology transfer offices) with the commercialisation and financing of EU & Global university-derived R&D/IP backed spin-out & growth companies, including associated SME/start-up partners. 

Companies created by universities as start-ups perform 4 x better than their industry peers. 90% of companies born out of universities are still in business and producing revenue in year 5 compared to only 20% of start-ups that do not have university connections? The average IRR on investments is 29% (2019 figures). The PIPE ecosystem is designed to enable the realisation of these benefits for academics, universities and investors.

The core team has been working with EU and US universities in various ways since 2012 on the protection and commercialisation of R&D/IP projects to produce high value/high performing companies and to provide investment funds of up to €2m.

The problems of securing investment in early stage university spin-outs are:

  • Access to quality deal flow and associated IP
  • Confidence in the quality of the due diligence
  • Reducing principle risk through diversification
  • Moving from the lab to IPO/exit effectively
  • Securing a strong management/delivery team
  • Difficulty in managing stakeholders

The PIPE solution is comprised of three integrated strategies: (i) a decentralised Private Listing/Exchange (“PIPE”), (ii) a traditional investment vehicle (The PIPE Fund or “The Fund”) and (iii) a corporate incubator to focus commercial action on Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing projects (“STEaM PIPE”)

Target R&D projects enter the STEaM PIPE incubator and The Fund reports on due diligence and structural progress through a family of smart contracts within the PIPE decentralised application (“DApp”). This incubation continues until portfolio companies are able to list proprietary digital assets on the PIPE and/or The Fund is able to exit the investment, thus distributing generated profit to authorised Fund participants. 

Capital raised in The Fund via 3rd party investors, groups, local university ‘parochial funds’ and family offices, is invested across a portfolio of growth companies. Investors’ rights are documented in blockchain-based set of smart contracts to ensure openness, honesty and immutability.

The overall ecosystem offers a decentralised solution for investors and innovative growth companies, combining the transparency and efficiency of blockchain with the trusted nature of traditional frameworks.

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