Startup studio has unique approach to build companies

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 428 views 

Highway Ventures, a startup studio that launches and grows advanced mobility companies, is forming in Northwest Arkansas.

Founding partners Lane Patterson, Dylan Terry and Joe Comizio bring a unique blend of experience in startups, federal research and investing to Highway Ventures. Their innovative business model involves leveraging intellectual property (IP) and technology from federal research labs to build companies.

“Before launching Highway Ventures, our founding team was deeply engaged in IP commercialization at a large federal lab,” Patterson explained. “It was here that we discovered the opportunities it presents. We believe that by tapping into the IP generated by labs and combining it with the opportunities in Northwest Arkansas, we can create a powerful engine for economic growth and job creation.”

In 2024, Terry said there’s an anticipated $200 billion in federal funding for research and development aimed at fostering technological innovation in various U.S. institutions. Yet, there’s a significant lack of funding and attention toward the crucial step of transitioning these innovations from the lab to commercialization in the private sector.

“Today’s reality is that a ‘valley of death’ exists, where technology is running out of funding and dying in the lab,” he said. “Highway Ventures is the bridge over the valley of death.”

Supported by Massachusetts-based nonprofit firm VentureWell and with the backing of the Walton Family Foundation, Highway Ventures hopes to establish 10 to 15 companies in Northwest Arkansas, focusing on creating high-paying technology jobs.

Terry said Highway Ventures will officially launch on May 8 in Bentonville during the Midcontinent Venture Capital Summit. Cortado Ventures, an early-stage VC firm in Oklahoma City, is organizing that event.