UW Today

July 18, 2013

UW launches record 17 startup companies

News and Information

The University of Washington launched a record 17 startup companies this fiscal year.

That makes fiscal 2013 the UW’s single most productive year for startup formation.  It places the UW among the top five schools in the nation.

Last year, President Michael K. Young challenged the university to increase its number of fundable technology startups.

“University startups give the American public a valuable return on their investment in academic research.  UW start-ups deliver impact to the public from our life-changing discoveries,” Young said.

UW startups are companies, usually co-founded by UW researchers, formed around technology licensed from the university.

“Successful UW start-ups benefit UW researchers, the UW as an institution and the public,” said Linden Rhoads, UW Vice Provost of Commercialization.   “The UW Center for Commercialization  is here to make sure UW’s start-ups have the best possible chance for success.”

The center coaches entrepreneurial faculty, students, and staff through the commercialization process, offering specialized programs at every step.

Rhoads, a serial entrepreneur herself, leads the center’s coordinated set of programs and resources for UW startups. In the past five years, the center has increased the  funding available for UW companies and helped UW startups win Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer federal grants.  The Center for Commercialization established the New Ventures Facility, a startup incubator in Fluke Hall, and has helped create external forums that allow UW startups to seek early stage investment.

“The University of Washington consistently ranks in the highest international echelons for its research and training,” Rhoads said.  “At the Center for Commercialization, we have a system of entrepreneurial support worthy of the volume of high-quality research at UW.  We want UW to be known for best-in-class technology commercialization.  This requires effective networking in and around each start-up team.”

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are experienced technology entrepreneurs who work alongside faculty to launch UW startups.  UW Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows launched successful UW startups through the the center—and now can advise other UW researchers.  Seattle’s top venture attorneys coach UW start-ups through the investment process, and venture capitalists help fill UW startups with the region’s top executive talent.

The center provdes a variety of opportunities involving UW students that include:

  • MBA interns interviewing potential customers and identifying competing products.
  • Law School Intellectual Property externs mapping UW technologies against existing patents and assisting in the patent and copyright processes.
  • Bridge Funding Fellows performing due diligence on UW startups to help them prepare for investors.
  • Commercialization postdoctoral fellows advancing the commercialization opportunity of innovations generated from their doctoral research or related efforts.

“The UW has launched into a new level of entrepreneurship.  For students, our Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship in the Foster School of Business is one of the top 10 programs in the nation,” Young said. “Now C4C makes UW one of the top five schools for technology start-up formation.  Our success this year comes directly from the unprecedented extent of engagement from our faculty, students, and friends in the Seattle business community.”

The UW Start-up Companies for fiscal 2013 are:

  1. GenetikSignal
  2. ID Genomics will provide rapid assessment of virulent bacteria in medical clinics allowing for same-day pathogen identification and enabling lifesaving choices for urgent care.
  3. JointMetrix Medical, pioneering the use of remote monitoring in orthopaedics by developing a body-worn sensor, a smartphone app, and a clinician report that together comprise a system used to remotely monitor patients before and after joint surgery. Their initial product, a knee monitoring system, is currently in use at UW Medical Center.
  4. KitoTech Medical, developing revolutionary proprietary technology for closing wounds with KitoStitch, used for deep wounds like sutures, fast like staples, painless like a Steri-Strip and easy to use as a Band-Aid.
  5. LumiSands Inc., developing cheaper and more eco-friendly material that replaces an important component of LED lights.
  6. Marine Construction Technologies developed a novel marine pile design that can reduce noise from impact pile driving to below injury threshold for sensitive fish and other wildlife.
  7. NanoFacture Inc., bringing to market a technology that addresses the challenge to rapidly concentrate and purify DNA using a very simple protocol with yields comparable to that of popular commercial kits, but at a much lower cost.
  8. Nova TheraNostics LLC, has developed a brighter, longer lasting, and safer Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agent.
  9. Owl Outcomes, a software-as-a-service that enables health and wellness providers to easily track their patients’ progress over time through an extensive digital library of assessment measures and use those results to collaboratively develop evidence- based treatment plans with their patients.
  10. PatientStream provides a suite of cloud-based applications that increases hospital operating room efficiencies by replacing whiteboards with an automated, information exchange incorporating cutting-edge display technology.
  11. RGB Hats LLC, released a new computer security-themed card game titled Control-Alt-HackTM: White Hat Hacking for Fun and Profit, created for a broad audience with interests in tabletop gaming or science and technology, and to computer security experts interested in a bit of fun. The game was created to expose people to the world of computer security while they play.
  12. Rosetta@Cloud, offering affordable, cloud-based pay-per-use molecular modeling and related services to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry that expedites the drug discovery R&D process while dramatically reducing costs by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain computer clusters and annual software licenses.
  13. Second Wind, applies the basic principles  of wind energy to convert the air stream of  building ventilation exhausts into useful energy.
  14. SNUPI Technologies, a sensor and services company focused on home safety, security, and loss prevention.
  15. Stella Therapeutics, developing first-in-class small molecules that hold the promise of curing glioblastoma multiforme (a highly aggressive brain cancer) while maintaining patient quality of life
  16. VitalTalk, a nonprofit with the mission of nurturing healthier connections between patients and clinicians through communication skills courses for clinicians, launching an iPhone app, and hosting an innovation conference.
  17. Unnamed, Electrical Engineering – optical computing in silicon