Five UWM startup companies have been awarded the first round of funding from the UWM Research Foundation’s new bridge grant program, which leverages a $200,000 matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation that was announced last year.
The funding will support UWM startups that are managed by faculty, students or staff that have licensed intellectual property from the Research Foundation. This “gap” funding is meant to compensate for the shortage of capital for university-based innovations.
Through donations from individuals and donors such as Bader Philanthropies and Clarios, the Research Foundation has raised just over half of their portion, and plan to award the remaining match, phase II, in early 2022.
Each of the following – five of UWM’s 15 launched campus startups – has been awarded up to $25,000 through the program.
COnovate Inc., formerly SafeLi, was co-founded by Carol Hirschmugl and Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska. With the funding, the researchers are applying a novel, carbon-based nanomaterial that they discovered to lithium-ion batteries. When used in the batteries’ anode, the material boosts performance and safety of the batteries compared to current technology.
Estrigenix Therapeutics Inc. is a collaboration among Karyn Frick (UWM), William Donaldson (Marquette University), and Dan Sem (Concordia University). The company’s goal is to develop and commercialize first-in-class therapeutics to treat hot flashes and memory dysfunction in menopausal women. The startup aims to develop and license a molecule-compound to a pharmaceutical partner.
Pantherics Incorporated was originally founded by Douglas Stafford and Alexander “Leggy” Arnold. The company focuses on developing and commercializing novel therapeutics for chronic inflammation. The company’s lead drug compound is being developed as an oral medication that will replace inhalers for reducing lung inflammation in persistent asthma.
RoddyMedical LLC is headquartered in the UWM Innovation Campus and headed by nursing doctoral student Lindsey Roddy. The company’s SafeMover is a single-use device designed to organize and secure different types of medical tubes and cords to improve IV medication safety and eliminate hazardous cord dislodgement.
Co-founded by Ching Hong Yang, T3 BioScience LLC is commercializing non-antibiotic agricultural products that protect crops from infection by harmful bacteria and fungus. It has shown that its lead product, RejuAgro, is more effective than antibiotics currently being used by farmers to protect against crop infection.