The premier animal health innovation conference is coming to Kansas City.
The KC Animal Health Corridor — an area animal health development organization — expects about 40 venture capital funds to attend the 2015 KC Animal Health Investment Forum, set for Sept 1. Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor, said that hundreds of people from around the world are heading to the City of Fountains for the conference.
Young said the event helps propel animal health startups from KC and around the world by allowing them to pitch for capital and partnership opportunities. It also offers more established businesses a chance to learn about the latest in animal health.
“This really has become the must-attend event for the animal health industry,” she said. “I don’t know of any other forums that allows companies to pitch their ideas for acquisition, licensing, development agreement or distribution agreements.”
Young expects more than 90 animal health businesses to send their executives, business development teams and researchers to the conference. About 400 investors and businesspeople from around the world — including France, Australia, Japan and Brazil to name a few — will be flying to Kansas City for the event.
17 animal health startups will pitch at the conference, seeking capital or lucrative partnerships. The startups were vetted by a panel of experts complied by the KC Animal Health Corridor, and must have serious revenue projections. Those pitching at the conference must be seeking between $500,000 to $20 million in funding, and have revenue projections of $20 million in five to seven years.
Companies presenting at the forum have raised $160 million collectively, and many have also received licensing agreements or distribution contracts. The conference is now in its seventh year, and will be hosted at the Kansas City Convention Center.
Young said Kansas City is at the heart of the animal health industry. Companies with a location in the KC Animal Health Corridor — which is a trademarked and Federally designated term — represent 56 percent of total worldwide animal health, diagnostics and pet food sales, making Kansas City the capital of the corridor.
While the corridor’s economic force is impressive, Young added that the network is what’s vital to its success.
“We are trying to be the epicenter for innovation in the animal health industry,” Young said. “The strength of the corridor is really the connectivity. Nowhere else in the world can companies come and be so closely networked and connected with the key leaders in the industry. It’s all about the connectivity. … This conference launches the corridor even further as being the epicenter of the animal health industry by driving innovation into the industry. ”