The Postdoctoral Fellows are in various stages of commercializing their research and starting their businesses. Because many of their innovations have the potential to change lives and lead to high-growth companies, their progress is making news.
NSF Awards MRI Grant to Postdoc Fellow
The National Science Foundation awarded Kauffman Entrepreneur Postdoc Fellow David Gruber a Major Research Instrumentation grant of $475,000 on Aug. 1, 2010 to design and engineer a submersible vehicle specifically to study the biology of deep coral reefs.
Postdoc Fellow Wins Burrill Competition
With partner Umang Nagpal, Kauffman Entrepreneurial Postdoc Fellow Ankit Agarwal won the top prize at the G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The $10,000 first prize went for the team's plan for taking advanced wound care dressings, using ultra-thin polymers loaded with silver nanoparticles, to market.
Backyard Brains on PBS
PBS Newshour features "Backyard Brains," the brainchild of Kauffman Entrepreneur Postdoc Fellow Timothy C. Marzullo. Marzullo's company designs equipment for students to measure electrical activity in nerve cells. In the Newshour story, Marzullo and his partner Greg Gage serve as examples of a University of Michigan program that helps graduates turn school projects into businesses.
BioLactia Breaks Out on Forbes Video
Postdoc Fellow Riccardo LoCascio's company BioLactia is featured as a "BreakOut" on Forbes Video Network for its potential to reduce infant mortality by recreating the structure of human breast milk.
Postdoc Fellow Wins Dutch Business Plan Competition
Startup founders will go to great lengths to finance their companies. Kauffman Entrepreneur Postdoc Fellow Ankit Agarwal traveled from Wisconsin to The Netherlands, where he won a business plan competition at the Dutch Entrepreneurial Bootcamp at Wageningen University. "The 10,000 Euros in forgivable personal loan is the first financing for my 'would-be' company," said Agarwal.
NSF Awards SBIR Grant to NaugaNeedles
The National Science Foundation awarded NaugaNeedles a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of $150,000. NaugaNeedles CEO Mehdi M. Yazdanpanah founded the company after inventing a procedure to selectively grow nanoneedles on Atomic Force Microscopy tips used for advanced research tools, instruments and sensors by university and industry researchers. "This grant is an important step on my company's path to exponential growth," said Yazdanpanah.
NIH Awards STTR Grant to NaugaNeedles
DCI Kentucky Awards STTR-Matching Grant to NaugaNeedles
The National Institute of Health awarded NaugaNeedles a Small Business Technology Transfer grant of $158,000 on Oct. 1, 2009 to develop a state-of-the-art Ultra Soft Atomic Force Microscope (USAFM) for imaging biomaterial at the nanoscale. The USAFM can gently create images of soft biological samples with molecular resolution in liquid environments.
The Department of Commercialization and Innovation at the State of Kentucky has also awarded NaugaNeedles a $100,000 to match NIH-STTR award. The grant was announced on Jan. 1, 2010.
Reactive Diagnostics Wins Georgia Research Alliance Grant
The Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) has awarded Reactive Diagnostics Inc. (RDI) a Phase IA grant of $25,000 through its VentureLab program. RDI is commercializing the fluorescent hydrocyanine probes for the detection of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in research and clinical settings. RDI was co-founded by Yash M. Kolambkar, a Kauffman Entrepreneur Postdoc Fellow. "The GRA Phase IA grant will allow us to reach a few key technical milestones and develop a business plan," said Kolambkar.