Fintech Finance’s Power Players

Resource Type: Fund News, News

This article appeared in the November issue of Institutional Investor.

There is seemingly no end to the phenomenon that is fintech. At $57.9 billion in the first half of 2018, global venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions investments in the financial technology sector exceeded the full-year 2017 total by more than $10 billion, according to KPMG.

Simply put, this spells opportunity for the financiers and other transaction facilitators in Institutional Investor’s fourth annual Fintech Finance 40 ranking.


Maria Gotsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Partnership Fund for New York City (Previously ranked: 13)

There were no Silicon Valley–like support systems for financial technologies when New York’s FinTech Innovation Lab started up in 2010. The pioneering ecosystem of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and financial institutions sprang from a proposal by Robert Gach of consulting firm Accenture and Maria Gotsch, president and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. The fund, founded in 1996 by KKR & Co.’s Henry Kravis and headed since 2000 by Gotsch, is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City, which in an earlier incarnation was the chamber of commerce.

Investing to promote growth in the local economy, the $160 million Partnership Fund is only partially deployed in fintech. And Gotsch, 52, oversees other initiatives, including a health innovation accelerator and a high-tech seed financing vehicle. But as far as New York’s financial community is concerned, the FinTech Innovation Lab is her claim to fame. The lab’s 58 alumni start-ups have raised $790 million in capital, and Accenture has launched similar programs in London, Dublin, and Hong Kong.

Executives from 25 major financial firms — including, for the first time, eight insurance companies supporting the New York lab’s new insuretech track — selected 11 start-ups for the 12-week intensive program leading up to the June 2018 demo day, when the entrepreneurs presented their work to investors and others in the financial community. The start-ups included Habit (behavioral data aggregation) and Virtualitics (machine-learning-driven data analytics).

See the full article here.

Statement on Amazon Coming to New York City

Resource Type: News, Statements

“Amazon is the first tech mega company headquarters to locate in New York City and, as such, it is a breakthrough event that will solidify the city ‘s future as a leader in the world’s fastest growing industry. The decision to locate in Queens is also an important statement about how our city economy is diversifying and expanding job opportunities across the five boroughs,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. 

New York City Council Testimony on a Pilot Program to Create More Basement Apartments

Resource Type: News, Testimony

Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted the following testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings on Int. 1004, which would establish a demonstration program to facilitate the creation and alteration of habitable apartments in basements and cellars of certain one- and two-family dwellings.

Thank you Chair Cornegy and members of the committee for the opportunity to testify on Int. 1004, a bill that would authorize a pilot program in East New York to facilitate the creation and alteration of habitable apartments in basements and cellars of certain one- and two-family dwellings. The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers. We work together with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to enhance the economy of the five boroughs of New York City.

The Partnership played a historic role in affordable homeownership development in communities across the five boroughs during the 1980s and 1990s. We understand community concerns about overcrowding, safety and excess demand on neighborhood services that are frequent objections to the legalization of basement apartments. This pilot project is an excellent way to construct a program that addresses those concerns and allows the city to develop a prototype that can be scaled to create thousands of new housing units and provide extra income for large numbers of homeowners, especially seniors who are struggling to maintain their homes.

We urge the Council to pass Int. 1004. With a vacancy rate of only 3.63 percent, New York City suffers from a shortage of housing. This is especially true for affordable housing. In 2017, the vacancy rate for low-rent housing was just 1.15 percent and one-third of households had to pay 50 percent or more of their income for rent. Many New Yorkers pay too much for illegal, overcrowded housing units.

New York City desperately needs to add new housing to address these problems and legalizing basement apartments is a promising resource. One estimate suggests that tens of thousands of basement apartments could be legalized with simple changes to codes. This would provide additional housing supply while also reducing the dangers caused by illegal and substandard housing. Other cities, including San Francisco and Boston, facing the same housing shortage and affordability problems are using this strategy.

The demonstration program that would be authorized by Int. 1004 is a good start. The Partnership urges the city to enact this law, to evaluate and learn from the pilot program and to use the experience to push for permanent changes that would encourage further development of these units on existing properties that are currently underutilized.

Thank you.

Digital Reasoning Brings AI To Wealth Management

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

By Tom Groenfeldt, Forbes

Digital Reasoning provides artificial intelligence (AI) tools to detect fraud, improve compliance and monitor internal communications for potential violations of company policy or regulations.

Now it is also being used by wealth managers who want to understand what their clients are thinking, monitor advisors for effectiveness, help advisors allocate their time better, and review calls and complaints to reduce churn.

Click here to read the rest of the article on Forbes.

Commercial Rent Control Testimony

Resource Type: News, Testimony

Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted the following testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Small Businesses in opposition to commercial rent control.

The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers who seek to maintain the city’s position as the preeminent global center of commerce, innovation and economic opportunity.

The Partnership opposes Int. 737-A, which would create a new set of requirements around commercial lease renewals. We suggest that the Committee undertake more careful research into the causes of storefront vacancies and escalating commercial rents. Laws should not be enacted based on anecdotal evidence or emotional appeals, particularly when their passage could disrupt the city’s main source of tax revenue.

There is no citywide database that establishes the number, size and type of commercial properties in the city or the tenants and owner-occupants of that space. Without that data, it is impossible to determine whether this legislation, if enacted, would address the true causes of commercial vacancies and business closures in multiple local markets across the five boroughs. It is also impossible to calculate the economic and fiscal impact that Proposed Int. 737-A would have on the city or its neighborhoods.

Ironically, there have been many actions by state and local government over the past few years that have contributed to the challenges facing small businesses in our neighborhood commercial corridors. For example, small retail and service businesses have been hardest hit by the increase in the minimum wage, new mandatory benefits such as paid sick leave, and a general increase in compliance costs and litigation exposure.  Rising rents are only one factor that the Council should be considering if they want to promote small business survival.

We also object to Proposed Int. 737-A because it is an overly broad and complicated piece of legislation. Despite its stated intent to “help small businesses,” the legislation would substantially change the process for commercial lease renewals for all businesses, including large businesses and upper-story office space. It would mandate a poorly conceived arbitration process and would add substantial time and cost to the commercial leasing process.

We all sympathize with the Mom & Pop stores that are struggling to survive in the face of rising costs, changing consumer demands, and increasing competition from online retailers and national brand stores. But sympathy is not sufficient justification for city government to make a major change in public policy without much more research and consideration than this bill has received.

Thank you.


MTA and Business Leaders Launch Transit Tech Lab, A Digital Sandbox to Build New Transit Solutions

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund, Press Releases

Learn more at; Apply by November 30, 2018

Oct. 10, 2018 (New York, NY) – Today, leaders of the MTA and the city’s business community, represented by the Partnership for New York City, announced the launch of the nation’s first Transit Tech Lab. The Lab’s purpose is to identify and test promising new technology and other products that will accelerate modernization of New York’s public transportation network and contribute to improved services and a better customer experience.

Tech entrepreneurs who are developing products that could be useful to the MTA’s modernization plans find it difficult to navigate large public agencies. The Transit Tech Lab is one example of how the MTA is changing its internal processes in order to be more open to innovation. The Lab will provide a faster and less expensive way for the MTA to review new products and carry out pilot projects with the best transit innovators from around the world.

The idea for the lab came from a working group that the Partnership for New York City and the MTA established earlier this year, the Transit Innovation Partnership (TIP). This is a privately funded, nonprofit initiative that was developed in response to Governor Cuomo’s challenge to the business community to help address the needs of the regional transit system. It is led by Rachel Haot, Executive Director and the former Chief Digital Officer for both New York City and New York State, and an advisory board of civic and business leaders, chaired by Alan Fishman, Chairman of Ladder Capital Finance.

“The MTA is committed to exploring every avenue to ensure that we modernize our system for the next generation of riders,” said MTA President Pat Foye. “We look forward to working closely with the Partnership and making sure we’re doing everything in our power to embrace the sort of innovation that will move this organization forward. The entire MTA leadership team is deeply committed to incorporating new technologies throughout the system and I am excited about this new initiative.”

“The future of public transit will determine the future of New York,” stated Rachel Haot, Executive Director of TIP. “Thanks to the MTA’s leadership, we look forward to working with technologists from around the globe to pilot solutions that improve our public transit system.”

The first lab projects will be to identify technologies that can move buses faster and reduce the impact of subway delays. Submissions are being requested from teams that have products that are ready for beta testing with the MTA. Companies can learn more about the opportunity and how to apply before the November 30th deadline at

For the subway challenge, the Transit Tech Lab seeks technologies to better predict how long a subway delay will last and how it will affect trains and lines across the system, information that will be communicated to customers. Potential technologies to solve this challenge include analyzing historical subway data to find patterns that can be used to predict future disruptions, exploring tools for immediately communicating with customers, and using entirely new data sources such as social media that may provide fresh insights into subway incident impacts.

The bus challenge seeks technologies to help public buses move faster and more efficiently. The challenge welcomes a range of potential technologies, including sensors, cameras and software that can help identify obstructions and patterns, improve coordination of routes and transfers, alert enforcement agencies about vehicles located in bus lanes, and adjust bus activity to changing customer demand.

After companies apply, MTA specialists and private sector experts will review Lab proposals. Evaluators from the business community include:

  • Reilly Brennan, General Partner, Trucks Venture Capital
  • Shana Fisher, Managing Director, Third Kind Venture Capital
  • Maria Gotsch, President & CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City
  • Nick Grossman, General Manager, Union Square Ventures
  • Dylan Hixon, Principal, Arden Road Investments
  • Brian Keil, Managing Director, NYS Innovation VC Fund, Empire State Development Corporation
  • Linda Kirkpatrick, Executive Vice President, U.S. Market Development, Mastercard
  • Kevin Ryan, Chairman & Founder, Zola, Workframe, Nomad Health, Mongo DB

The most promising companies will be selected to participate in an 8-week accelerator program starting in February where they will be able to refine their products to more directly meet the needs of public transit. At the end of the program, the MTA will select successful companies for a 12-month pilot with the transit system. The pilot is unpaid but offers companies a unique opportunity to demonstrate their technology in the nation’s largest transit system and positively contribute to the future of New York City transit.

The Transit Innovation Partnership is a public-private initiative formed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Partnership for New York City with the mission to make New York the global leader in public transit. An advisory board of leaders from academia, business, civic organizations and government guides the Transit Innovation Partnership, which brings together diverse stakeholders to realize public-private projects that improve transit performance and customer service. Focus areas include technology and process innovation in infrastructure, data, operations, customer service and revenue generation. Learn more at

Iva Benson
Executive Vice President
Office: 212 843 8271
Cell: 917 497 3907

Partnership Fund Portfolio Company Rgenix Raises $40M in Series C Funding To Support Clinical Stage Oncology Programs

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

From Business Wire

Lepu Holdings Limited leads the financing syndicate and is joined by existing major investors Novo Holdings A/S and Sofinnova Partners

Rgenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class small molecule and antibody cancer therapeutics, announced that it has raised $40 million in a Series C financing in support of further development of the company’s clinical and pre-clinical oncology programs and for general corporate purposes.

The Series C financing was led by Lepu Medical, a publicly traded global healthcare firm, and includes Oceanpine Capital and WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund. Existing investors also participated in the financing round, including Novo Holdings A/S, Sofinnova Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, LLC, and the Partnership Fund for New York City’s Innovate NY Fund and associated entities.

The financing will support Phase 1b/2 clinical trials of the lead program RGX-104 in multiple cancer indications, including in checkpoint inhibitor refractory patients. It will also support early clinical development of RGX-202, a first-in-class cancer metabolism program, as well as discovery stage programs arising from the Rgenix target discovery platform.

“Lepu Medical is very pleased to make this investment in Rgenix. We truly appreciate Rgenix’s unique RNA target discovery approach in identifying various first-in-class cancer targets. We also believe RGX-104 has great potential with checkpoint inhibitors across many important cancer types,” said Dr. Zhongjie Pu, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Lepu Medical. “As Lepu Medical has PD-1, PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors and an oncolytic virus in clinical trials, we also look forward to exploring possible collaborative opportunities with Rgenix as part of our goal to develop further in the oncology market together.”

“The addition of new investors to our already strong investor base is a testament to the power of our approach to develop first-in-class cancer therapeutics using the innovative Rgenix RNA target discovery platform to identify novel cancer targets,” said Masoud Tavazoie, MD, PhD, and Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Rgenix. “We are delighted to have the support of these investors and to know that they share our excitement for the work we are doing to develop these new therapies for patients who suffer from cancers of high unmet need.”

RGX-104 is a first-in-class small-molecule immunotherapy that targets the Liver X Receptor (LXR) and modulates innate immunity by activating the ApoE gene. Data from a Phase 1a dose escalation of RGX-104 in advanced cancer patients demonstrated both immune-stimulatory and anti-tumor activity. Rgenix is currently enrolling patients in the Phase 1b stage of the trial in multiple cancer indications, including in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab.

RGX-202 is a small molecule compound that suppresses gastrointestinal cancer progression by inhibiting a novel cancer metabolism pathway involved in supplying energy to cancer cells. Pre-clinical research shows the compound is active as a monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy considered to be the standard of care. Rgenix expects to launch a Phase 1 trial of RGX-202 in 2018.

Rgenix was advised by Jefferies LLC in this Series C financing.

About Rgenix

Rgenix, Inc., is a privately-held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer drugs that target key pathways in cancer progression. The company is pursuing several first-in-class drug candidates to treat cancers of high unmet need. Rgenix identifies novel cancer targets using a microRNA based target discovery platform originally developed by Rgenix’s scientific co-founders at The Rockefeller University and now exclusively licensed to Rgenix. The company brings together distinguished scientific founders, a seasoned Board, and a leadership team comprised of experienced drug developers. The company is funded by leading biotechnology investors, including Novo Holdings A/S, Sofinnova Partners, Lepu Holdings Limited, Oceanpine Capital, WuXi PharmaTech Healthcare Fund I, LP, Alexandria Venture Investments,LLC, and the Partnership Fund for New York City. For more information, please visit

Marion Janic, 212-223-4017

Partnership Fund Portfolio Company Awarded 2018 North American Technology Innovation Award

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

From PR Newswire

TARA Biosystems’ Groundbreaking Biowire™ II Heart-on-a-Chip Platform Earns Acclaim from Frost & Sullivan

The platform is set to revolutionize drug discovery and development and ultimately enable safer and more effective therapies for patients

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Based on its recent analysis of the North American heart-on-a-chip market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes TARA Biosystems with the 2018 North American Technology Innovation Award for its trailblazing Biowire™ II heart-on-a-chip platform. This solution produces mature, engineered, human cardiac tissues and demonstrates promise as a valuable predictive tool for cardiac drug discovery and development. It can potentially advance precision care using patient-derived, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)-generated cardiomyocyte cell lines to identify a patient’s specific treatment needs.

“TARA’s in vitro Biowire™ II heart-on-a-chip model employs iPSCs to generate cardiac tissues. The platform biomimetically exercises the immature tissue until it exhibits the characteristics of adult human cardiac tissue,” said Deepak Jayakumar, Senior research analyst. “These engineered tissues closely mimic functional human heart muscles, which, in turn, allows pharmaceuticals to predict the side effects and therapeutic efficacy of their drugs, without the need for animal or human testing.”

In addition to accelerating the drug discovery and development process, Biowire™ II, due to its high degree of physiological human-relevancy, can decrease associated costs by providing better human translation data than what is possible from existing assays and animal model studies. It can also help eliminate drugs that have unacceptable levels of cardiotoxicity early in the drug discovery process and highlight the elements that aid in the design of superior drugs.

Some of the unique functional metrics of the Biowire™ II platform-produced cardiac tissues are positive force-frequency, inotropic response, improved post-rest potentiation, decreased spontaneous beating, improved structural alignment, and adult-like action potential. The platform is capable of measuring important metrics of human cardiac physiology such as maximum force, rates of contraction, relaxation, calcium handling, electrophysiology, gene expression and structure. These established functional metrics empower the Biowire™ II heart-on-a-chip platform to ascertain whether a new drug is improving the normal pumping mechanism of the heart and whether the improvement is due to the heart not filling up or because it was unable to distribute blood.

“Additionally, the Biowire™ II platform can engineer tissues that accurately mimic specific human heart failure phenotypes. These diseased tissue constructs can be employed in the discovery and development of novel medicines to treat heart failure phenotypes as well as in toxicology studies,” noted Deepak. “Unlike most organ-on-a-chip companies that develop multi-organ chips or several single organ-on-a-chip platforms, TARA Biosystems singularly focuses on the development of heart-on-a-chip technology. This enables the company to deliver a platform capable of comprehensively measuring functional metrics that can reveal deep insights for use in cardiac safety and mechanistic studies.”

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

About TARA Biosystems

TARA Biosystems is a human heart-on-a-chip company headquartered in New York which has developed a proprietary platform of cardiac tissue models.  Through these physiologically human-relevant predictive models, the company offers a variety of services and solutions that can decisively evaluate the safety and efficacy of novel biopharmaceutical drugs and strengthen the drug discovery, and development pipeline.

About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Contact us: Start the discussion.

Partnership Fund Invests in Magnolia Neurosciences Corporation

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

From Venture Beat

Accelerator Life Science Partners Launches Magnolia Neurosciences Corporation with $31 Million Series A to Develop Targeted Neuroprotective Therapies

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–August 13, 2018

Accelerator Life Science Partners (Accelerator), a leading life science investment and management firm, today announced that it has launched Magnolia Neurosciences Corporation, a company developing a new class of neuroprotective medicines. Co-founded by Accelerator and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson), the company will further develop discoveries made by scientists in MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division and the Neurodegeneration Consortium (NDC).

Investors participating in the $31 Million Series A financing include AbbVie Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Innovate NY Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., the Partnership Fund for New York City, Pfizer Ventures, Watson Fund, L.P., WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund and 180 Degree Capital Corp.

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Crain’s Notable Women in Health Care Announced

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

New York, NY – August 6, 2018 – Crain’s Custom, a division of Crain’s New York Business, today announced the inaugural Notable Women in Health Care, which honors executives, researchers and clinicians who have had a profound impact through work in their careers and in their communities. This list of Notable Women in Health Care is part of a year-long series from Crain’s New York Business to celebrate women in the workplace, across industries.

The Notable Women in Health Care honoree program garnered nominations across a spectrum of health care organizations, from hospitals and nonprofits to medical colleges and health care groups in the New York City metropolitan area. In order to qualify, nominees were required to be in the health care industry in the New York City metropolitan area, in either an administrative or a clinical role.

The finalists were selected by a Crain’s custom team including award-winning health care journalist Barbara Benson, based on a combination of professional achievements, community service, track record of mentoring others, and promotion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The complete list of honorees for Notable Women in Health Care can be found in the August 6 print issue of Crain’s New York Business and online, here.

“Notable Women in Health Care is the fourth honoree program in a year-long series meant to celebrate and laud female executives who have impacted New York City in major ways. It honors those with both professional achievements and exceptional civic and philanthropic activities,” said Patty Oppenheimer, Director of Custom Content for Crain’s Custom.