Chicago, IL – February 12, 2014 – Wellspring, the leader in enterprise software to manage research and innovation, today announced it has raised $5 million in capital led by MK Capital, a $250M venture capital firm focused on building category leading companies in the software and digital media industries. The capital will be used to strengthen Wellspring’s product and technology position within the R&D and product innovation markets and for expansion in the corporate R&D, clinical, and academic research markets.
The Chicago-based Open Innovation software company was founded in 2003 as a spin-out of Carnegie Mellon University, initially providing technology transfer software solutions to universities and hospitals. Today, Wellspring’s Sophia software platform is used in universities across the world, in hospitals such as University Hospitals/Case Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and by corporations such as Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products. With the closing of the capital round, Wellspring has already secured contracts with Education Development Center Inc, University of Illinois system, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Wellspring has the great fortune to work with companies and universities at the forefront of innovation. We are at an exciting time. We’re transforming how R&D is done across the innovation value chain.” said Dr. Robert Lowe, Chief Executive Officer. “We’re excited to tap MK Capital’s experience in enterprise software and phenomenal investment track record.”
“Wellspring addresses the most pressing strategic issue confronting corporations today—the need to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and velocity of innovation activities” noted Mark Koulogeorge, managing general partner of MK Capital. “Well run organizations will increasingly insist on having a software platform to manage innovation activities, just as they rely on sales or marketing automation software for those functional areas of the business. We are excited to be an investor in the leading company in this burgeoning sector.”
“We are excited to welcome Wellspring to Chicago, where it sees the city’s top technical and product talent plus headquarters to innovative multinationals as key to its continued growth,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Fueled by MK Capital’s investment, Wellspring’s move demonstrates the city’s ability to attract and support world-class technology firms.”
Unlike other Open Innovation platforms, Wellspring’s Sophia software enables organizations to innovate faster by accessing knowledge quickly and optimizing investments in research and innovation, all by managing and harnessing the organization’s Knowledge Supply Chain. By managing their Knowledge Supply Chain, companies, universities, and hospitals optimize their research programs to effectively spur new innovations.
In addition to the Sophia platform, Wellspring also acquired Flintbox in 2010, an intellectual property exchange originally founded by the University of British Columbia. With this capital raise, Wellspring will be strengthening its existing products and providing new technologies in Open Innovation for all sectors of R&D.
Wellspring is the leading provider of software systems to unify the processes of open innovation, from technology scouting to corporate venturing to in/out-licensing to intellectual property management. The company’s Sophia Knowledge Supply Chain Software enables companies, foundations, government agencies, and universities to identify and capture value from knowledge assets and their network of collaborators. For more information, please contact Joe Granda at (312) 643-5100 or visit http://www.wellspring.com.
About MK Capital
MK Capital invests in early and growth stage companies in the software and digital media industries. The firm’s partners, who average over fifteen years of venture capital experience, partner with entrepreneurial management teams to build leading companies in emerging markets. MK Capital has deep domain expertise in the marketing, education, and cloud infrastructure industries. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Los Angeles and Ann Arbor. MK Capital manages over $250 million in capital and is actively seeking new investment opportunities. For more information, visit http://www.mkcapital.com or call (312) 324-7700.