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Incubator start-ups receive funds from state

by David Bauman - September 2, 2008

Eight start-up companies in UConn’s Technology Incubation Program recently received a financial boost totaling nearly $400,000 from the Connecticut Small Business Incubator Program, through the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

“This is an investment that will leverage federal and private research dollars by creating new technology products and companies,” said Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who announced the grants Aug. 22.

“Technology-based small businesses are vital to the growth of Connecticut’s economy, both now and in the future. They offer high wage, high value opportunities to our workers and communities.”

The Technology Incubation Program provides space and services to enhance the success of early-stage firms that have a link to the University. It is part of the University’s Office of Technology Commercialization, which also includes the Center for Science and Technology Commercialization and the UConn R&D Corp.

The program currently houses 15 start-ups, six at Storrs, seven at the Health Center in Farmington, and two at Avery Point.

“The start-up companies are evidence of an evolving economic landscape in Connecticut and the critical role UConn is playing in that transformation,” says Bruce Carlson, managing director of the Office of Technology Commercialization.

“These companies are transforming University discoveries into products that benefit us all.”

In addition to providing start-up companies with the support they need to grow, business incubation also provides a boost to other businesses in the community, he adds.

Carlson notes that the national success rate for companies that graduate from incubators is more than 80 percent, and 87 percent stay in the region of their incubator.

The grant recipients are:

  • New Ortho Polymers of Farmington, which designs and develops novel polymer orthodontic appliances based on patented, proprietary materials. The $50,000 grant will be used to evaluate archwire in laboratory clinical trials.
  • LifePharms is a natural product drug discovery company at Avery Point that works with field-collected mushrooms. The company will use the $50,000 grant to patent and market its technology.
  • Evergen, a biotech company at Storrs that has expertise in animal cloning, transgenesis, in vitro fertilization, embryo cryopreservation, and embryo transfer. The company will use the $50,000 grant to purchase new equipment.
  • MakScientific, a Connecticut-based drug research, design, and development company. MakScientific will use its $50,000 grant to file new patents.
  • Conversion Energy Enterprises of Farmington, which develops laser products and biomaterials for medical applications. The company will use its $50,000 grant toward obtaining FDA approval for one of its products.
  • MysticMD, a company based at Avery Point that is working to reduce the weight and cost of materials in lithium-ion batteries. The company will use the $50,000 grant for equipment to demonstrate the technology’s feasibility.
  • Biorasis of Storrs, a company that is developing implantable wireless glucose sensors 100 times smaller than current sensors for continuous monitoring. The company will use its $45,000 grant to create a prototype sensor unit.
  • Agrivida, which is developing improved corn varieties that will be used to produce environmentally-friendly fuels and chemicals. The $34,000 grant will be used to purchase equipment.
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