Kansas City-based Fulcrum Global Capital will open an office in the K-State Office Park in Manhattan, adjacent to the Kansas State University campus, as part of a strategic partnership.
Fulcrum Global is a venture capital fund that was founded in early 2019 by Duane Cantrell, Kevin Lockett and John Peryam. They all formerly worked for the Kansas Bioscience Authority, which made about $34 million in direct investments in nine companies, including Leawood-based Aratana Therapeutics Inc. (sold to Elanco Animal Health) and Olathe-based Innara Health Inc. The state decided to sell the portfolio for about $14 million in 2016 to Chicago-based Origami Capital Partners.
Lockett is a familiar name at K-State, having been an all-conference receiver for the school’s football team before playing in the National Football League, including four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Fulcrum Global’s newest venture, the Fulcrum Global Capital Fund, is a $40 million to $60 million fund that focuses on making early-stage investments in agriculture, animal health and agricultural technology. Specifically, it will focus on companies with technology that can increase food production, reduce food waste or make food systems safer and more sustainable.
“With K-State’s incredible body of knowledge, research and expertise in agriculture, grain science and animal health, and the proximity of the K-State Office Park to the university and the National Bio Agro-defense Facility, we have the unique opportunity to cultivate partnerships with campus, federal and corporate entities,” Fulcrum Global partner and CFO Lockett said in a release. “This location also allows us to involve graduate-level K-State students in projects with global impact.”
Fulcrum Global currently has investments in four companies:
• P&P Optica, which provides food processors with food-safety and quality information through a Smart Imaging System.
• CoverCress Inc., which is developing harvestable winter cover crops to generate additional revenue for farmers.
• Green Dot Bioplastics, which is developing bio-based, degradable resins using recycled agriculture feedstock.
• NanoGuard Technologies, which is working to improve food and grain freshness, shelf life, safety and reduce food spoilage.
Fulcrum Global aims to make new investments with the help of partners at K-State.
“By establishing their newest office in the K-State Office Park, Fulcrum Global Capital adds more than 100 years of cumulative industry experience to K-State and the Manhattan area,” KSU Foundation Senior Vice President of Operations and Finance Greg Lohrentz said in the release. “They have developed excellent working relationships with the university and city of Manhattan and are familiar with the goals of the KSU Foundation and the office park. We are pleased they have chosen the K-State Office Park as a base to expand their global influence and investment in agriculture-related research and technologies.”