Companies

UConn Grad Students Working To Improve Bridge Monitoring

NextGen Infrastructure has recently been highlighted in the Hartford Business Journal, see the article here.

 

LexiKevin2017-4 - Scaled

A new company, created by a pair of UConn graduate students, is developing an innovative technique using sensors to monitor the performance of bridges. The Department of Transportation monitors key aspects of a bridge’s health to make sure they remain safe.

Civil engineering graduate students Kevin McMullen and Alexandra Hain are improving on the current methods for bridge monitoring, which are expensive and time consuming. McMullen’s company, NexGen Infrastructure, is developing force sensing pads which can be built into structural bridge bearings to perform the monitoring. NexGen Infrastructure received a Third Bridge Grant for financial support to develop a prototype and fine tune their product. McMullen said that the company’s force sensing pads can provide key data faster than current methods.

“One benefit is that you can determine if a bridge is overstressed, if the weight is higher than it was designed for,” McMullen said.

By inserting NexGen’s sensors into the bridge infrastructure, McMullen and Hain are able to measure how well a bridge is performing over the lifetime of the sensors. This can include ensuring that a new bridge functions as intended, measuring how a bridge’s performance changes over time, and even weighing trucks that go over the bridge, which could make weigh stations unnecessary.

LexiKevin2017-3 - ScaledThe sensors can be inserted during new construction or when a bridge is being repaired. Many of the bridges in the United States have reached or exceeded their expected life cycle. According to Hain, “Repairs are often done to these bridges to extend their life span. A perfect time to insert these pads is when the bearing is being replaced.”

NexGen Infrastructure grew out of an Experiential Tech Entrepreneurship Course that McMullen and Hain took, which encourages and develops the necessary skills for engineering grad students to become entrepreneurs and create startups. McMullen, along with Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Arash Zaghi, had done a research project with Enflo Corporation, which manufacturers Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a Teflon-like material used in bridge bearing pads. The sensor pads were created to improve the marketability of Enflo’s PTFE bearing pads.

During the entrepreneurship course, McMullen worked with Hain to develop the bridge pads. Zaghi, their faculty advisor, acts as the director of research development for the company.

Students who take the course are qualified to pitch for the Third Bridge Grant, a program that provides financial support for UConn startups from engineering graduate students. The Third Bridge Grant is a member of the UConn Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium.

McMullen is using the funding to work with industry partners to make the sensor pads as effective as possible. UConn Engineering Professor of Practice Hadi Bozorgmanesh teaches the entrepreneurship class, and he partnered with Connecticut Innovations to establish the Third Bridge Grants. He said that these programs are part of a concerted effort to turn engineers into entrepreneurs.

“We’re trying to get science and engineering students to convert their inventions into innovations that result in new products and services. We want them to understand the business world, and to think strategically with business goals in mind,” said Bozorgmanesh.

While working to develop NexGen into a viable company, Hain decided that she wanted to branch off and develop a separate company. Advanced Column Solutions develops durable, resilient and cost-effective alternatives to conventional bridge columns. A Third Bridge Grant has been awarded to the company which Hain will use to advance the development and marketability of the innovative column system.

HartfordBusiness.com – UConn to Launch CT Manufacturing Simulation Center

UConn, working with the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Connecticut Innovations, is creating a center to share computer modeling facilities and expertise with Connecticut manufacturers, creating as many as 700 jobs over the next five years.

See the full story using the link below:

http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/article/20161004/NEWS01/161009986/1004

Movia Open House

Movia Robotics, an innovative company started by UConn grad Timothy Gifford is opening a brand new office space on the 2nd floor of Hartford’s Design Center!

Please join the teams at Movia Robotics, My Home Pro Network & Launch EZ for our open house office warming party and networking event sponsored by the reSET Business Factory. Friends & Family, Customers & Partners, Mentors & Investors, and Entreprenuers & Enthusiasts are all welcome to attend.

Come check out the space and join us for a fun night of free food and drinks, networking, and games!

WHEN
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)
WHERE
reSET Business Factory – 1429 Park St. 2nd Floor, Suite 214, Hartford, CT 06106

RSVP
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movia-roboticsmy-home-pro-networklaunch-ez-soundweb-open-house-tickets-24329881330

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Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund Invests $10 Million in Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health (PITCH)

Connecticut Innovations-managed fund supports new program to help translate Connecticut’s academic biomedical research into new ventures and jobs

ROCKY HILL, Conn., September 10, 2015 – BioInnovation Connecticut, managed by Connecticut Innovations (CI), the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies, today announced a three-year, $10 million investment in the Program in Innovative Therapeutics for CT’s Health (PITCH) through the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF).

The program, led by Dr. Craig Crews of Yale University and Dr. Dennis Wright of the University of Connecticut (UConn), looks to structure and oversee the creation of new biopharma and biotechnology ventures based on research from the state’s higher education system.

“This program directly aligns with the overall mission of our fund,” said Dr. Margaret Cartiera, vice president and fund manager of BioInnovation Connecticut at CI. “Not only does this program create collaborative links among Connecticut’s college institutions, but it also encourages the commercialization of research coming out of the universities.” 

The statewide academic initiative will focus on translating the basic science discoveries into attractive data packages to secure external investment for the creation of new ventures.

“The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a major transformation driven by patent expiries, diminishing drug pipelines and the high cost of conducting internal research and development,” said Crews. “This is the optimal time to launch new biotech companies and this program is designed to increase the speed in which it is done in our state. By leveraging prior investments in academic drug discovery at Yale and UConn, we are optimizing the way research is executed in our laboratories and increasing the chances of commercializing those discoveries.”

“This cross-university collaboration with UConn and Yale will showcase our collective strengths in the area of drug discovery and development,” said Wright. “UConn’s School of Pharmacy is uniquely positioned to engage at many stages of the development process and we look forward to working with the discoveries coming from the teams at Yale.”

The effort will partner Yale’s Center for Molecular Discovery at the former Bayer pharmaceutical site in West Haven, Conn. with a lead optimization core located in UConn’s School of Pharmacy and a target expression core located at UConn Health under the direction of Dr. Sandra Weller to create a new, multi-centered statewide academic drug discovery consortium.

Signed into law on Sept. 4, 2013, by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, the $200 million, 10-year Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund was created to provide focused financial assistance to startups, early-stage businesses, nonprofits and accredited colleges and universities throughout the state.

“We are taking Connecticut into the future by investing in – and committing to – bioscience, and this collaboration will boost the number of discoveries coming from our state,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “We look forward to seeing the discoveries that come from the steps we’ve taken and the program in the future.”

For more information on qualifications, requirements, guidelines and applications for the BioInnovation Connecticut funds, visit www.bioinnovationct.com. For general questions related to the funds, please write: info@bioinnovationct.com.

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies. To maximize the growth potential of each business, CI tailors its solutions and often combines its funds with resources from other financial leaders to provide venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies; flexible loans for established companies with new innovations; grants that support innovation and collaboration; and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. Through all these initiatives, CI has helped bring $4 billion in financing to Connecticut companies. The state’s most active early-stage investor, CI has created more than 26,000 jobs. For more information on CI, please visit www.ctinnovations.com.

About BioInnovation Connecticut
Managed by Connecticut Innovations, BioInnovation Connecticut helps innovators speed bioscience discoveries toward commercialization, which is made possible through two key funds: The Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) and the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund. For more information on BioInnovation Connecticut, please visit www.bioinnovationct.com.

Editor’s Note: The actual amount of the CBIF investment is $9,999,995.
# # #

Media Contacts:

Lauren Carmody
Director of Public Relations
Phone: (860) 258-7829
Email: lauren.carmody@ctinnovations.com

Craig M. Crews, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Yale Center for Molecular Discovery
Phone: (203) 432-9364
Email: craig.crews@yale.edu

Dennis Wright, Ph.D.
UConn Professor of Pharmaceutical Science
Phone: (860) 486-9451
Email: Dennis.Wright@uconn.edu

Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund Information Session at Jackson Laboratory

As leaders in the bioscience industry, we wanted to invite you and those in your network to attend an informative session and Q&A on the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) on Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Conn.

We understand there may be companies, entrepreneurs, academics, investors and other professionals in your network who would benefit from learning more about CBIF’s mission, funding requirements and timing. We’re hoping you will extend the invitation to those parties and encourage them to attend.

Following the CBIF discussion, we are also arranging a tour of the The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine for anyone who may be interested.

To register for the event, visit: http://bioseminar.eventbrite.com.

We hope to see you there and appreciate your help with sharing the invite with your network.

Kind regards,

Dr. Margaret Cartiera
Vice President and Fund Manager, CBIF

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015

Time: 9-11 a.m.

Location: The Jackson Laboratory Auditorium

Address: 10 Discovery Drive, Farmington, CT 06032

Registration: http://bioseminar.eventbrite.com.

 

20th Annual Connecticut New Venture Competition

$25,000 + in startup support services and cash grants

Application www.Back-Offices.com/college

Fall semester deadline: Thursday, November 19. Finalists will be posted Wednesday November 25. at 5:00 pm.

The first step in the entry process will be to create a user name and password. This will enable you and your team members to return to revise your draft summary prior to submitting. The judges will only consider information contained in the online application. Do not send supplemental material.

Finals (3-minute PowerPoint pitches plus Q&A.) Parents, classmates and friends are welcome to attend.

Spring Semester: Friday, December 11, at 1:00 pm, in New Haven. Finalists may present a Business Plan Executive Summary or a Business Model Canvas. (See next page for judging criteria.)

Business Plan Competition Prizes: All entrants will receive candid feedback from a business financing expert on their on-line executive summary. Press releases announcing the finalists and winners will be sent to the media. Cash and cash-equivalent service awards are granted to the student companies; trophies are awarded to the schools. Checks will be made out to the company and winners will need to provide an FEIN or SSN of the team leader. Categories:

    • Best Business Plan/Model – Venture Enterprise **

    • Best Business Plan/Model – Service Business **

    • Best Business Plan/Model – Social Enterprise

    • Best Consumer Product

    • Best Oral Presentation

    • Best Online Submission (written Executive Summary)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The team leader and primary presenter must be a student at a Connecticut college or university during the current academic year. (Entries may be submitted by individuals or teams.) In keeping with the spirit of the competition to foster entrepreneurship, neither plans written for outside companies as student projects nor plans written on behalf of a company not student-owned and conceived are eligible.
  • Teams must have a faculty adviser from the submitting institution .

** Service businesses typically are smaller, have a limited or local market, and serve small businesses or consumers. Venture enterprises are generally higher risk, scalable, and require more capital but have higher potential returns. This is often a judgment call as many businesses have characteristics of both. The decision of the judges is final.

New Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). Schools are invited to enter teams of finance majors, and other students interested in equity investment, to decide how they would allocate $100,000 among the business plan finalists. A trophy will be awarded to the team and school that recommends the most astute portfolio—including investment terms—in the opinion of investment industry judges. Finance teams will have access to written executive summaries in advance and are invited to conduct due diligence prior to the finals. The winning team will advance automatically to the regional finals of the national VCIC competition where they will evaluate post-rev companies seeking venture capital. To enter the VCIC competition, the faculty adviser or team leader is requested to submit the names and email addresses of the team members to Roer@EntrepreneurshipFoundation.org by Friday, November 13.

Click here to view the judging criteria.

Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund Expands Definition of Early Stage to Increase Investment Opportunities

Connecticut Innovations-managed fund now allows companies that are up to seven years old to apply for funding

 ROCKY HILL, Conn., July 17, 2015 – BioInnovation Connecticut, managed by Connecticut Innovations (CI), the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies, today announced a change in legislation that allows companies up to seven years old to submit applications to the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) for funding consideration.

CBIF seeks to drive innovation in the biosciences throughout Connecticut by providing focused financial assistance to startups, early-stage businesses, nonprofit organizations and accredited colleges and universities. Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed the updated legislation broadening the scope of companies eligible to apply on July 1, 2015. The language previously stated that to be eligible, companies could be no more than three years old.

“We know that the lifecycle of a bioscience company can be a long one,” said Margaret Cartiera, vice president and fund manager of BioInnovation Connecticut at CI. “Technology and team development in the early stages can sometimes move slowly, and clinical trials and regulatory requirements can lengthen the go-to-market process for many bioscience companies. We want to make sure we offer funding to companies to continue their work when they need it most. This decision, supported by our advisory committee and Governor Malloy, will allow us to help companies at a critical time in their progress and provide the fund with additional investment opportunities.”

Connecticut-based for-profit startup or early-stage businesses (to which this change directly applies), non-profit corporations, and accredited colleges and universities working in bioscience, biomedical engineering, health information management, medical care, medical devices, medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, personalized medicine or other related disciplines are eligible to apply. All company applicants seeking CBIF funding must be registered in Connecticut through the Secretary of State’s office.

For more information on qualifications, requirements, guidelines and applications for the BioInnovation Connecticut funds, visit www.bioinnovationct.com. For general questions related to the funds, please write: info@bioinnovationct.com.

About Connecticut Innovations Inc.
Connecticut Innovations (CI) is the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies. To maximize the growth potential of each business, CI tailors its solutions and often combines its funds with resources from other financial leaders to provide venture capital and strategic support for early-stage technology companies; flexible loans for established companies with new innovations; grants that support innovation and collaboration; and connections to its well-established network of partners and professionals. Through all these initiatives, CI has helped bring $4 billion in financing to Connecticut companies. The state’s most active early-stage investor, CI has created more than 26,000 jobs. For more information on CI, please visit www.ctinnovations.com.

About BioInnovation Connecticut
Managed by Connecticut Innovations, BioInnovation Connecticut helps innovators speed bioscience discoveries toward commercialization, which is made possible through two key funds: The Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund (CBIF) and the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund. For more information on BioInnovation Connecticut, please visit www.bioinnovationct.com. 

The GrowthWheel Simple. Visual. Practical.

Flyer for Event

Attention! Is it time for a business health check-up? Here is an opportunity to identify any challenges and diagnose unforeseen opportunities within your business. GrowthWheel helps entrepreneurs build their businesses through simple action steps that stay true to the way most entrepreneurs think.

  • Get focused with screening tools
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  • Make decisions with worksheets
  • Take action with checklists

Registration Fee:
$79/person before 6/1/15
$99/person after 6/1/15

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2015 Spring Connecticut New Venture Competition

$20,000 in startup support services and cash grants

Application www.Back-Offices.com/college

Deadline: Thursday April 16. Finalists will be posted Tuesday, April 21 by 5:00 pm.

  • first step in the entry process will be to create a user name and password.
  • will enable you and your team members to return to revise your draft summary prior to submitting.
  • judges will only consider information contained in the online application.
  • do not send supplemental material.

Finals (3-minute PowerPoint pitches plus Q&A.) Parents, classmates and friends are welcome to attend.

Spring Semester: Friday, April 24, at 1:30 pm. Finalists may present a Business Plan Executive Summary or a Business Model Canvas. (See next page for judging criteria.)

For more information, please visit this page.