Two Nashville investors with Alabama roots have funded a $1 million seed round for Birmingham-based Astound Research.
Mark Two Ventures, a venture studio founded by Alabama natives Glenn Clayton and Patrick Cooney, focuses on tech startups in the South.
Astound is developing a marketplace to allow research institutions and universities to easily find corporate sponsors for scientific research. Its CEO and founder is biomedical engineer Joel Berry.
“Corporate spending on sponsored university research is approximately $80 billion globally and over $40 billion annually in the US alone,” he said. “Astound will provide a platform that makes it easy and fast for companies to find and sponsor research relevant to their product development goals. Ultimately, our mission is to be a catalyst for advancing science and technology.”
Astound plans to have a limited launch later this year with a full launch of its platform in early 2023.
Mark Two plans to be there every step of the way.
“A studio is basically an institutional co-founder of startups,” Cooney said. “We like to get involved as early as possible with talented founders who have a great idea, often even before a company has been formed. We then provide the seed capital as well as the initial team to build and launch a new product.”