TVC formed the seed fund in early 2018 to support early stage technologies being developed by university faculty. “Our seed fund provides crucial financing for innovations that show promise but are not mature enough to attract outside investment,” said TVC Executive Director Keith Marmer. “Early stage funding is one example of our commitment to establishing long-term partnerships with our faculty inventors.”
Of 27 technologies submitted, six were funded. The applicants were evaluated on their proposed commercialization strategies, market differentiation, intellectual property status and plans for achieving developmental milestones, among other criteria.
“TVC helped us identify a market and develop a roadmap for commercialization, which has allowed me to narrow my research and development focus,” said Rajesh Menon, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and prolific inventor. “And the seed funding will provide enough runway to develop a working prototype to present to potential licensees.”
Each awardee will be paired with a TVC executive in residence, who will help the inventor draft an implementation plan. Next steps may include forming a startup, assembling an executive team, developing a marketing plan and identifying a licensing partner.
Following are the 2018 TVC Seed Fund grantees:
- UU 3-D Metrology Tool: A device that optically measures the absolute 3D position of an object.
- Novel Phase Optics: A three-dimensional camera and mobile phone facial-recognition LED camera that employ flat-lens technology.
- Chemically Removable Cleavable Linker: A device that provides controlled delivery of chemotherapeutics.
- Advanced Halloysite Nano-tube Solid Polymer Electrolyte for Lithium-Sulfur Battery: A high-voltage lithium battery that remains stable without solvents.
- Thermoelectric Aerospace Power Generation Module: A high-efficiency, ultra-lightweight thermoelectric modules for aerospace applications.
- Catheterized Confocal Microscope: A microscopic imaging tool that can diagnose cardiac disease.