NephroGenex

NephroGenex

Founders: Dr. Billy Hudson, Dr. Karl Tryggvason, and Dr. J. Wesley Fox
VC Investment over the last four quarters: $22 million

Founded in 2004, this eight-employee company develops innovative therapies for kidney disease. As for the recession, NephroGenex founders aren't daunted, and say that it will begin looking for a Big Pharma partner for its lead product next year.

Key to startup success: "If you are sure you have something that works and is useful to the marketplace, and others that you trust also agree, don't give up!"