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Making a difference

We’re not interested in innovation for innovation’s sake — we back technologies that promote the social good. Learn more about our companies’ impact here.

Are you an awardee and have a success story to share? Tell us about it.

A cheaper, easier way to test for malaria

For many in sub-saharan Africa, finding out if a fever is due to Malaria often means trekking long miles to a clinic for a relatively pricey blood test, and anxious hours of waiting before the results come in. But the Urine Malaria Test kit developed by Fyodor Biotechnologies has begun to change all that.

To learn more visit: https://www.fyodorbio.com/.

Device to treat stress urinary incontinence in women

Elidah created a medical device to help women with stress urinary incontinence - the inability to control the urge to urinate - a condition which impacts about one in three women.

To learn more visit: https://www.elidah.com/.

AI helps medical professionals interpret, perform ultrasounds

Bay Lab uses artificial intelligence to help medical professionals perform and interpret ultrasounds.

To learn more visit: https://baylabs.io/.

Online access to mental health therapy

TAO Connect provides online mental health therapy.

To learn more visit: http://taoconnect.org/.

Polymer material

A polymer material (blue) targets drug activation of doxorubicin (red) to tumors, minimizing toxicity because the drug is shielded while in the blood (green).

New drug delivery technology for tumor treatment

Shasqi, a small business funded by the National Science Foundation, is developing a new way to deliver drugs to specific locations within the body to more effectively treat diseases such as cancer. The team, led by physician and chemist Dr. Jose M. Mejia Oneto, has created a targeting system that could enable effective therapy with lower doses of drugs and fewer harmful side effects.

The system works by first injecting a gel at the treatment site. The gel contains chemicals that combine with and activate an injected, attenuated form of a drug, such as a chemotherapeutic, to trigger its cancer-fighting effect only at the tumor or other targeted tissue. The experimental treatment has been successfully tested against tumors in mice, which experienced tumor shrinkage while maintaining healthier weights than mice receiving traditional chemotherapeutic treatments. Shasqi is funded by America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF. Photo credit: Shasqi

Dr. Jose M. Mejia Oneto

Jose M. Mejia Oneto, founder and CEO of Shasqi.

Detecting biological contaminants in water & pharmaceuticals

Spheryx, Inc. created a technology to monitor, count and characterize microscopic particles in a variety of fluids, such as water, chemicals, or even pharmaceuticals.

To learn more visit: https://spheryx.solutions/.

3D Printing Like Nature

Branch Technology combines 3D printing, industrial robotics, and conventional building materials to enable a new way to build.

To learn more visit: https://www.branch.technology/.

All-in-one weather and crop monitor delivers agricultural insight to farmers

Arable Labs has developed a crop and weather sensor that delivers real-time, precision weather information straight to the hands of farmers in the field.

To learn more visit: https://www.arable.com/.

Improving LED brightness and reducing power consumption

Rob Nordsell

“The National Science Foundation was instrumental in getting our company off the ground. We had identified a high-value problem in LEDs that demanded a solution and we identified a unique approach to solving that problem. However, acquiring investor capital for seed stage R&D is very difficult and the investors that do participate in such early financings look to external sources and experts to validate the technology and approach. Our NSF award was, in fact, that source of validation and within two weeks of having received our SBIR Phase I award we closed our Seed round. The NSF is a critical resource for deep-tech startups and we are thankful to have received NSF support throughout Phase I and Phase II.”

“The company started with two founders doing chemistry in a garage, and today the company employs a total of 10 full-time Ph.D. scientists, including the founders, and four part-time Ph.D. scientists. The company is launching its first product by the end of 2017, and this progress would not have been possible without the support of the NSF.”

Rob Nordsell
CEO, Lumenari, Inc.

Omnity has developed technology to find shared patterns of rare words across documents— rather than through hyperlinks and tagging —in hundreds of millions of documents and across languages, allowing users to find information close in meaning or idea, even when documents do not directly refer to one another.

To learn more visit: https://www.omnity.io/.

Manufacturing equipment to build taller wind turbines on-site

Keystone Tower Systems has developed tower hub manufacturing equipment to make wind turbines on-site, allowing for the creation of taller towers that can generate more wind power in more places.

To learn more visit: http://keystonetowersystems.com/.