We’re excited to welcome our next cohort of ASPIRE startups! ASPIRE is an intensive workshop that uniquely prepares entrepreneurs for the investments and partnerships necessary to launch their ventures. VentureWell brings together a group of experienced mentors and staff to provide individual support to the startups throughout the week as they work on their deal room documents, respond to stress test scenarios, and hone their narrative and proposed milestones and investment ask.
Through the generous support of The Lemelson Foundation, the Autodesk Foundation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and several local partners in Baltimore, we’re providing these science and technology entrepreneurs with the tools, feedback, and network that they need to make an impact.
Meet the fall 2018 Environmental Health cohort below:
Over 21 million Americans get water from systems that don’t meet health standards. Aclarity has created an electrochemical technology to easily remove pathogens, metals, and other impurities from residential and commercial water systems.
Poultry litter contains potentially toxic materials, including heavy metals, pathogens, and other excreted substances; leaching and runoff of these materials can contaminate surface water and groundwater resources. Cykloburn Technologies has created a low-emission combustion system that converts manure into energy and heat for poultry houses.
The world’s natural forests cannot sustainably meet the soaring global demand for timber products. Genoverde has developed pine seedlings that increase wood yield by 23%, and sequester more atmospheric CO2, helping to combat climate change.
mobius – Creating a world where There’s Wonder in Waste
Removal and disposal of single-use containers, films, and pots from farms can cost between $100 and $400 per acre. mobius has developed a low-cost platform of biodegradable and compostable plastics made from lignin, a waste product from paper and biofuel that naturally degrades in soil, saving time and money associated with plastic disposal.
Current industrial water treatment options do not adequately remove heavy metals from aqueous streams. NUMiX Materials has created a product that efficiently reduces the concentration of dissolved heavy metals from water systems across a wide range of pH levels.
Sage – the smart gardening system
Inefficient irrigation systems waste water, time, and money. Sage Smart Garden has developed a solar-powered irrigation system that can be remotely managed from an integrated app, allowing gardeners and landscapers to automate irrigation based on desired rules, monitor soil moisture, and make adjustments as needed.
Most laundry detergents include harsh chemicals to boost performance in hard water. Sironix Renewables has developed a bio-renewable soap molecule that delivers 100x superior cleaning performance in hard water conditions, eliminating the need for extra ingredients and reducing the cost, complexity, and environmental impact of detergents.
Current surface coatings in toilets do not easily repel bacteria and waste and necessitate the heavy use of both water and cleaners to maintain. spotLESS Materials has developed a sprayable, anti-fouling surface coating that outperforms commercial materials in repelling bacteria, urine, and fecal matter, while allowing up to 90% water savings.
Growing global food demand and rising input costs force farmers to rely on harmful soil amendments to significantly increase crop yields; yet these additives negatively impact produce taste and shelf life, and the environment. TrueAlgae has developed a micro-algae that can be used as an organic soil amendment, increasing harvest yields by 20%-50% and improving produce sweetness and shelf life, while minimizing environmental impacts.
Shrimp farmers in Southeast Asia currently lose 22% of their animals to disease outbreaks, causing $7.5 billion in losses each year. VakSea has developed immune-boosting proteins, made in insect larvae, that can be delivered in feed to protect against disease.
Read more about the companies here.
More than fifteen mentors and guest speakers representing angel investors, VCs, and corporate perspectives will spend the week with this cohort of startups as they prepare for the partnerships and investments necessary to launch and grow their ventures. The goal is to help the entrepreneurs develop and hone their materials to launch their fundraising efforts.
This ASPIRE workshop will be held in Baltimore, MD at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. This was made possible through support from Harbor Launch at The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology and TEDCO:
Harbor Launch at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) is an incubator for early-stage science and science support companies, with a focus on life sciences. Founded in 2016 as an initiative of IMET, a University of Maryland research institute, Harbor Launch connects incubator companies with the resources (people, facilities, and more) of the University System of Maryland. It offers affordable wet labs and office space, business advising, networking, an Entrepreneur in Residence program, open pro bono Entrepreneur Office Hours, and many other resources.
The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) is a joint University System of Maryland research institute capitalizing on the strengths of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Maryland Baltimore. IMET utilizes the research, training, and technology transfer capabilities of these partner institutes to further its mission.
TEDCO provides resources and connections that early stage technology and life sciences companies need to thrive in Maryland. TEDCO’s mission is to discover, invest in, and help build great companies.
Read a recap about the Baltimore program here.