q2 startup roundup


Want to find out what’s new with VentureWell early-stage innovator teams? Read the VentureWell Startup Roundup! In every Roundup, we share announcements, accomplishments, and other good news from teams in our community– compiled in a convenient quarterly report. 

Funding & Investments

Sensatek Wins $743,200 NSF SBIR Phase II Grant
Sensatek Propulsion Technology secured a $743,200 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research Phase II program. The 2017 E-Team is developing a wireless monitoring system that can withstand an engine’s high combustion temperatures, providing near-real-time, accurate, and actionable data that can increase efficiencies and the life of engine parts. This latest grant brings the company’s seed funding to nearly $1.5 million.

InterVene Raises $15 Million in Series B Funding
InterVene Inc. announced that it has raised $15 million in a Series B financing round. The 2010 E-Team developed the BlueLeaf® Endovenous Valve Formation System, the first catheter-based solution for deep vein reflux (DVR)– the failure of venous valves in the legs — that does not require an implant. The investment will be used to perform an Investigational Device Exemption study in the U.S., and to expand the company’s clinical research program in other countries. The funding round was led by new investor 3×5 Partners, who was joined by prior investors RiverVest Venture Partners®, Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX), Correlation Ventures and others. 

Partnerships & Sales

Rimidi Announces Partnership to Bring Insulin Data Into Clinical Workflow
Rimidi, a health-tech startup, and Companion Medical, a leader in smart insulin injection delivery, announced a partnership to enhance data visualization for clinicians treating high-risk diabetes patients. Rimidi, a 2014 ASPIRE startup, developed a cloud-based connected care software solution that enables personalized management of chronic cardiometabolic conditions. The collaboration integrates Companion Medical’s InPen™ into Rimidi’s platform to push insulin dosing data into the cloud without the need for downloading the data first. By combining connected devices with relevant clinical data, clinicians can remotely refine dosing decisions while working within the existing clinical workflow.

Technology Breakthroughs

Promethean Power Systems Distributes Cooling System Into Africa

Promethean Power Systems, a 2006 E-Team, began product distribution in Africa with the dispatch of three Bulk Milk Chillers to Tanzania. Promethean Power designs and manufactures rural refrigeration systems for off-grid and partially electrified areas of developing countries, enabling food suppliers to reliably store and preserve perishable food items without the need for harmful, diesel-powered generators. 

Competitions & Awards

Strella Biotechnology Receives UPenn’s 2019 President’s Innovation Prize
Malika Shukurova and Katherine Sizov of Strella Biotechnology, a 2018 E-Team, received the Class of 2019 President’s Innovation Prize at the University of Pennsylvania. Awarded annually, the prize empowers Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each prize-winning project receives $100,000, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member. Strella developed a biosensor to accurately predict fruit maturity, ensuring produce is packed and distributed at the optimum time.

Kinnos Takes Third Place Tier in the 2019 M2D2 $200K Challenge
Kinnos placed in the “Third Place Tier” at the 2019 M2D2 $200K Challenge in Boston, MA. The 2015 E-Team created ‘Highlight’, a powdered color additive for bleach solutions that provides visualization of treated regions of the protective gear, eliminating any uncertainty of complete coverage. Kinnos was one of 12 winners selected from a field of 19 Finalists—a new Challenge record. In a change from previous years, the winners were grouped into tiers for first, second, and third place, instead of a one-through-twelve rank. The top 12 innovative startups will share in a $200,000 purse of sponsor-provided, in-kind services, including lab space, office space; engineering, product development, legal, regulatory, clinical, and business services. 

E-Team Grantees Win Lemelson-MIT Student Prizes
Several E-Team grantees were awarded the 2019 Lemelson-MT Student Prize in recognition of their impactful inventions. The prize is awarded to young inventors who have dedicated themselves to solving global problems in healthcare; agriculture, food, and water; transportation and mobility; and consumer devices. The winning E-Teams were:

Mercy Asiedu of Calla Imaging was the $15,000 Graduate Winner for the  “Cure it!” Prize category which rewards technology-based inventions that involve healthcare. The 2018 E-Team is developing a low-cost, patient-friendly cervix visualization device for cervical cancer screenings in low-resource settings. 

Laura Hinson, Madeline Lee, Sophia Triantis, and Valerie Zawicki of Ithemba were the $10,000 Undergraduate Winners for the  “Cure it!” Prize category which rewards technology-based inventions that involve healthcare. Ithemba, a 2017 E-Team, has created a novel, sterile-yet-reusable device that enables providers to offer minimally-invasive biopsies at a lower cost.

Julie Bliss Mullen of  Aclarity LLC was the $15,000 Graduate Winner of the “Eat it!” Prize category, which rewards technology-based inventions that involve food/water and agriculture. The 2018 ASPIRE startup has created an electrochemical technology to easily remove pathogens, metals, and other impurities from residential and commercial water systems.

NUMiX Materials CEO Joins Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI) Program
Katie Kollhoff, CEO of NUMIX Materials, was accepted into Chain Reaction Innovations (CRI), the entrepreneurship program at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory. Chain Reaction Innovations provides a two-year program for entrepreneurs focusing on energy and science technologies, enabling innovators to work on their technology full-time with the help of leading experts and equipment from a national laboratory, as they work to build their innovations into market-ready businesses. NUMiX, a 2018 E-Team, is creating a product that efficiently reduces the concentration of dissolved heavy metals from water systems across a wide range of pH levels. Kollhoff is one of just five innovators who will be joining the elite program’s third cohort.

Ecovative Founders Receive Finalist Nomination For 2019 European Inventor Award
The European Patent Office announced the 15 finalists nominated for the European Inventor Award 2019, including 2007 E-Team Ecovative. The Award celebrates the genius and creativity of inventors and inventor teams for their contributions to scientific and technological progress, their role in generating economic growth, and their impact on our daily lives. Ecovative uses mycelium, the root base of most mushrooms, to create sustainable, high-performance and economically viable packaging alternatives. 

CEO of TheraV Wins 2019 Legacy Prize 
Amira Idris Radovic, CEO and founder of TheraV, was awarded a Legacy Prize by the  Creativity Foundation. Every year, the Legacy Prize is awarded to a select group of students who show great promise, creativity, and dedication in their fields in the spirit of Ben Franklin’s original Legacy Prize. Radovic’s startup, TheraV, a 2017 ASPIRE team, is developing wearable devices to help manage amputation and nerve pain.

Avisi Technologies, LLC Participates in MedTech Innovator’s 2019 Showcase and Accelerator Program
Avisi Technologies, a 2017 E-Team, was selected as one of MedTech Innovator’s 2019 Top 50 Showcase Companies. 50 best-in-class startups were selected to participate in the organization’s flagship four-month program and will receive unparalleled access to manufacturers, providers, investors, and other industry stakeholders. Avisi Technologies, formerly VisiPlate, has developed a device that can reduce procedure time for ophthalmologists and improve treatment outcomes for millions of OAG patients by reducing post-operative complications.


New York Times Profiles E-Team Sanergy
Sanergy, a 2010 E-Team, was recently featured in a New York Times article, From Poo to Food: Kenyan Toilet Waste Key for New Animal Feed. The article highlights the company’s revolutionary work in waste management and organics recycling and how this work is helping to solve both sanitation and nutrition problems in the region. You can read the full feature on the Times website.

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