venturewell announces 23 teams chosen for winter 2020 e-team cohort



We awarded over $235K total in funding to student teams developing high-impact innovations.

We are excited to announce the 23 teams who have been accepted into our Winter 2020 E-Team Grant Program cohort. Each early-stage student venture, selected through a competitive national review process, was chosen based on the potential for their innovation or invention to have a significant positive social, health, or environmental impact.

Fifteen teams have each been awarded a $5,000 Stage 1 grant, and 8 teams will receive a $20,000 Stage 2 grant. In addition to funding, these teams will take part in our intensive Early-Stage Innovator Training Program; Stage 1 teams will attend the Pioneer workshop, which focuses on customer discovery, and Stage 2 teams will attend the Propel workshop, where they will work to develop and validate their business model.

Meet the Winter 2020 cohort below:


Leef Jerky Stage 1
Leef Jerky is developing a dried meat product that is made by seeding cow muscle cells onto plant leaves and flowing nutrients through the leaf’s veins to create thick pieces of meat. 

TRIC Robotics Stage 2
Farming strawberries requires human labor that is at risk from pesticide exposure; to reduce risk and save labor, TRIC Robotics’ automatic solution uses ultraviolet-C light to prevent pathogen formation. Nightly autonomous treatment of the plants keeps workers safer and increases profitability with no disruption to harvest and field operations.


pHixed Stage 1
pHixed is developing a more accurate and reliable pH monitoring system for biologic medication manufacturing processes that will allow manufacturers to improve efficiency and lower costs of drug production.

Energy and Materials

Acoustobattery Stage 1
Acoustobattery is developing a technology to integrate an acoustic device in lithium ion batteries that will significantly improve energy storage and charging time. 

AeroShield Stage 2
Typical double-pane windows are used to aid in home insulation but often are not affordable. AeroShield developed a super-insulating, porous glass to create windows that are 50% more insulating and more affordable than typical double-pane windows.

AquaQuant Stage 2
High performance computers needed for the next generation of machine learning and data analytics require better thermal management for optimal performance. AquaQuant Laboratories has developed a direct immersion water cooling method for data centers that utilizes porous coatings on electronics in order to dissipate heat more effectively than current state-of-the-art cooling schemes.

Flux Marine Stage 2
Conventional gasoline-powered outboard boat motors are noisy and highly polluting. Flux Marine developed and markets an electric outboard motor that requires little maintenance and produces faster acceleration, silent operation, and zero tailpipe emissions. 

MycoHens Footwear Stage 1
MycoHens Footwear is developing a biodegradable shoe sole from low-cost and renewable materials—mushroom mycelium (roots) and chicken feathers—that can be sold to footwear manufacturers.  


Iconic AIR Stage 1
Iconic Air is developing an air quality monitoring device that attaches to an unmanned aerial vehicle for use in collecting samples of pollutants and aeronautic data.

Intelligent Systems Stage 1
Intelligent Systems is developing an automated HVAC monitoring system that uses the cloud and the IoT to enable proactive air quality improvement in institutional settings by detecting the conditions that allow for mold growth and predicting future HVAC system health.

FreeGen Technologies Stage 1
Remora is developing SeaSkimmers: solar-powered autonomous marine drones that track and collect trash in marine ports and harbors; the drones use a variety of data input and machine learning to predict trash hotspot locations and efficiently collect the trash.

PlasTech Ventures Stage 1
PlasTech is developing a customizable micro-recycling facility and machinery to aid in the reduction of recyclable plastic waste in the Philippines; these facilities will be used by entrepreneurs and small institutions who will be able to share knowledge through PlasTech’s platform to continually improve operations. 


DelivHer FemCare presents Anu Clean Cup Stage 1
DelivHer FemCare is designing the Anu Clean Cup, a comfortable, disposable menstrual cup worn internally, which allows for greater freedom during physical and sexual activities while menstruating. 

CortiTech Stage 2
Current retractors used in brain surgery produce too much injury or limit the operating space for surgery. In order to expose hard-to-reach areas in the brain and significantly improve patient safety, Cortitech has developed Radiex, a retractor with a minimally invasive design to access deep-seated lesions during neurological procedures. Stage 1 is developing an automated malaria early-detection system that uses a smartphone camera, an algorithm, and a microscope to detect parasites in blood smear samples with 96% accuracy.

ForSight Innovation Stage 2
Cataract is a leading cause of vision loss, and its treatment with manual small incision cataract surgery (MSICS) surgically induces astigmatism, which lowers the quality of vision and requires extended recovery time. ForSight Innovation has developed a cataract fragmentation tool that enables surgeons to make a smaller incision, which leads to enhanced patient outcomes and higher-quality operations.

NeMo: Empowering mothers to identify neonatal illness. Stage 1
NeMo is developing a low-cost, easy-to-use educational device with a wearable sensor that helps new mothers identify signs of severe illness and prompts them to seek timely care for their infant.

Neurotendo Stage 1
Neurotendo is developing a steerable, soft-robotic microcatheter for treatment of cerebral aneurysms. The system gives neurosurgeons complete 3D hemispherical control of the microcatheter tip and allows coils to be deployed more quickly in a much higher number of cases, and allows treatment to be completed quickly. 

Preventing Rolling Veins Stage 1
Preventing Rolling Veins is developing a small, one-time-use device that can be used to stabilize a patient’s vein, reducing risk and making needle insertion easier. 

ReSuture Stage 2
Surgeons need time to train for and practice complex and risky procedures like some vascular surgeries. ReSuture developed a material for use in surgical simulations that accurately reproduces the mechanical properties of human vascular tissue and can be used repeatedly, providing highly realistic vascular surgery simulations and reducing training time.

Information Technology & Communication

OnePeanut Stage 2
Current peanut inspection and harvest monitoring approaches are labor intensive and can be unreliable. OnePeanut developed a standardized system to grade, analyze, and report on peanut maturity, and to share the data to build a peanut database. 


InnovaCan Stage 1
InnovaCan is developing a hemp processing method which uses chemical pulping to convert hemp fibers into green, sustainable building materials such as walling and insulation products.


Hauk Aeronautics Stage 1
Hauk Aeronautics is designing the Mk-1, a bicopter electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for recreational fliers that will allow them to travel quickly without emitting CO2 pollution. 

about e-team grants

E-Team Grants give student teams the opportunity to access up to $25K in funding, along with the training, networking opportunities, and national recognition they need to launch their venture. We have trained over 800 student entrepreneurs comprising 300 E-Teams who have collectively raised more than $122 million in follow-on funding and launched over 180 ventures after taking part in the E-Team program.

VentureWell is now accepting applications for our Spring 2020 cohort! Qualifications Phase applications are due on December 11 and the deadline for completed Stage 1 and 2 proposals is February 5. Learn more about our E-Team Grant Program and start your application.

about venturewell 

VentureWell is a non-profit organization that supports the creation of new ventures from an emerging generation of science and technology inventors and supports the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that are critical to their success. We’ve funded or trained over 6,500 science and technology inventors and innovators and nurtured nearly a thousand of their startups reaching millions of people in over 50 countries. We are proud that leading institutions, from foundations to government agencies to major businesses, support our mission to transform higher education and technology entrepreneurship. The Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are among those who recognize ours as a powerful model for supporting emerging STEM innovators and the entrepreneurship ecosystems that are critical to their success. Visit to learn more.

The E-Team Grant program is presented through the generous support of The Lemelson Foundation, the Autodesk Foundation, Qualcomm, and the United States Small Business Administration.


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