Startups within the state raised $109 million of funding between January and March of this year — over five times what they raised in the same three-month span in 2018, according to filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

New Haven Deputy Director of Economic Development Steve Fontana told the News in February that New Haven’s commitment to helping new ideas go corporate has created an environment that fosters ingenuity, which attracts startups in a range of fields to the Elm City.

“We will do our part to help foster the growth of technological industries by giving people the opportunity and the means to innovate and create and do work in these kinds of areas,” he said.

Kleo Pharmaceuticals, a New Haven-based company founded in 2016 that is working to create synthetic compounds that help the immune system destroy cancer cells, raised more funding this year than all other Connecticut startups, having raised $21 million in just one deal this November. The funding was led by the company’s development partner — PeptiDream, Inc. — with participation from Biohaven Pharmaceuticals Inc., a New Haven startup that also serves as Kleo Pharmaceuticals’ founding investor.

Douglas Manion, CEO of Kleo Pharmaceuticals, said in a November press release that the November deal allowed the company to advance their research into human clinical studies.

According to Hearst Connecticut Media, funding of at least $100,000 in venture capital and other forms of growth funding are considered in the report, and any funds contributed by publicly traded companies or hedge funds are omitted.

In 2018, Connecticut companies reported a 44 percent decrease in venture funding, dropping from $400 million in 2017 to $222 million the next year, and nearly 25 fewer companies reported that they raised over $100,000 compared to the year before.

In seven of the past nine quarters, New Haven has attracted more than half of all funding raised by Connecticut startups. Investors have been attracted to the various biomedical and technological startups that have come out of Yale, including Arvinas, Inc., Biohaven Pharmaceuticals and Continuity and Artificial Cell Technologies.

In February, the city welcomed the opening of Quantum Circuits Inc., a Yale startup working to develop the first practical quantum computers. In 2017, Quantum Circuits raised $18 million in financing from venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital and Westport-based Canaan Partners.

At Quantum Circuit’s February ribbon-cutting ceremony, Yale Vice Provost for Research Peter Schiffer stressed the University’s commitment to supporting local startups.

“The story of [Quantum Circuits] illustrates the potential to leverage university research to create jobs and to drive a competitive, high-tech economy,” Schiffer said in his speech. “Yale is proud of all of the startups based on Yale inventions, and we look forward to working with the private sector and the state to build more companies in New Haven.”

In 2017, Verizon Communications Inc. named New Haven the best location in the country to start a tech startup, beating cities like San Francisco, New York and New Orleans.

Caroline Moore |