January 14, 2016
The University of Chicago’s Innovation Fund announced plans to invest more than half a million dollars in three ventures working to improve healthcare and agriculture through innovation. With these latest investments, the Innovation Fund will have infused more than $3.6 million in 38 ventures with high potential for societal and commercial impact.
Five finalists presented their ideas to the Innovation Fund advisory committee on December 4, and for the first time, the public was invited to attend. More than 100 people gathered at the Chicago Innovation Exchange to learn about the new technology being developed by world-renowned researchers at the University of Chicago and affiliated laboratories.
“The Innovation Fund, in combination with a multitude of other resources available at the University of Chicago, is designed to help support entrepreneurs in taking their next step and exploring the path to commercialization,” said John Flavin, executive director of the Chicago Innovation Exchange. “This cycle, the committee has again chosen to invest in three projects whose technology and team have the potential to transform inventive ideas into products and services that reach the marketplace.”
The Innovation Fund is managed by the Chicago Innovation Exchange, in partnership with UChicagoTech and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Twice a year, the Fund extends a call for proposals from UChicago, Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Marine Biological Laboratory teams considering commercializing their technology and ideas.
This cycle, the Innovation Fund selected three teams to receive investment:
Navipoint Genomics, LLC was awarded $175,000 to support the development of the team’s advanced genomics analysis platform. The innovative technology allows them to transfer and analyze full human genomes 50- to 100-times faster than competitive solutions, and speed up the time for large scale analysis from months to days. Team members from the Computation Institute and Argonne plan to use the funding to build a full proof-of-concept that will be HIPAA compliant and secure for use in clinical practice. Congratulations to Paul Davé, Ravi Madduri, Dina Sulakhe, and Alex Rodriguez, as well as strategic advisors Ian Foster and Steve Tuecke.
Praedictus Climate Solutions has developed new software tools that provides more accurate and timely projections of crop yields than current approaches. The Innovation Fund awarded the team $125,000 to validate their system with additional crops and in new geographies. Compliments to the Computation Institute’s Joshua Elliott, Ian Foster, and David Kelly, along with colleague Robert Okabe.
RiMO Therapeutics is slated to receive $250,000 to help study its proprietary high-precision cancer treatment in humans. Their scalable solution, which uses nanotechnology to deliver low dose X-ray treatment, is highly effective in eradicating solid tumors. The team plans to use the funding to complete its pre-clinical studies and launch the first in-human study by summer 2016. RiMO Therapeutics has also executed the first UCGo! Startup License with the University of Chicago. The UCGo! Startup License is an optional, standardized license agreement created last year to increase entrepreneurship at the University. Congratulations to multidisciplinary team members from the Physical Sciences Division, the Department of Radiation and Oncology, and the Department of Medicine, Wenbin Lin, PhD, Ralph R. Weichselbaum, MD, Chunbai He, Ph.D., and Everett Vokes, MD.
If you are interested in learning more about the Innovation Fund or receiving notifications when the next cycle opens, please sign up here.