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June 2016, UR Ventures Technology Review - Issue 11
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Welcome to the UR Ventures Technology Review,

The JazzTech 2016 Issue

 

Your Guide to All Things JazzTech

The UR Ventures Technology Review is your monthly look at innovation and technology commercialization at the University of Rochester. In this issue, you will learn about JazzTech 2016. Meliora!

JazzTech 2016 Attracts Investors and Entrepreneurs from Across the Region and Around the Country
The second annual JazzTech event took place at the Century Club on East Avenue on Friday, 24 June 2016. Jazztech is scheduled to coincide with the Xerox International Jazz Festival. This year’s event was sponsored by Cranberry Capital, Harter Secrest & Emery, and UR Ventures in partnership with the Rochester Institute of Technology and High Tech Rochester. JazzTech is intended as a vehicle to provide Upstate startups with access to potential investors, mentors, and management resources. In addition, this gathering also serves to showcase the research, innovation, and human capital of Rochester and the Finger Lakes region. This aspect of the event was evident in the opening remarks by Rob Clark, University of Rochester Senior Vice President for Research and newly-appointed Provost:
Rochester is a town of creativity. From the Eastman School of Music and the International Jazz Festival, to the range of engineers and scientists generating incredible intellectual property, we are a community of creators.
The pro-Rochester message was echoed by Mark Chaney, CEO of Modern Robotics, during his company pitch. “We could only do this in Rochester,” he said. "The level of technicians, engineers, and designers is unmatched anywhere else.” To those of us who live and work here, it is no surprise that Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region is a hub of innovation, but the message was received loud and clear by investors and entrepreneurs from around the country who attended JazzTech. Several commented that they were pleasantly surprised by the wide array of research being conducted at our universities, the depth of talent in our workforce, and the sophistication of the companies presenting. For this reason alone, JazzTech 2016 was a resounding success.
Arunis Chesonis of Cranberry Capital introduces Mark Chaney, CEO of Modern Robotics.
JazzTech 2016 Showcases Promising Startups
Six startup companies from RIT, the University of Rochester, Cornell University, and the region were invited to present at the second annual JazzTech conference. Each company was allowed a ten-minute pitch followed by a five minute question-and-answer session. Four companies were invited to give a five-minute “speed pitch.” In addition, three of last year’s companies returned to give a brief update on their progress.
 
Companies making full presentations were:
Arcum Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company dedicated to advancing novel strategies for the therapeutic intervention in the battle against multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.
Conamix, a proof-of-concept company using nano-silicon materials to revolutionize the battery industry.
Modern Robotics, a software company using a new approach to slash the costs of implementing new robotic systems.
Sanabit Technologies, a medical device company producing non-invasive, non-chemical devices that help wounds heal faster by stimulating the body’s natural mechanisms.
Sensor Films, Inc., a company manufacturing and commercializing advanced systems to print functional and decorative inks on a variety of surfaces in one tenth the time and at one tenth the cost.
Splyce, a web platform that gives users a new and better way to engage with personalized e-sports content.
 
Speed pitches were delivered by:
Efferent Labs, a biotechnology company focused on implantable biosensors.
MotionSavvy, a software company commercializing an application capable of translating sign language into speech or text.
NullSpace VR, a company that designs and sells software and hardware that provides tactile feedback in virtual reality.
Wavio, a company that is commercializing artificial listening devices that translate the sounds they “hear” into alerts and notifications for the deaf and hard-of-hearing population.
 
Updates were given by ClearCove, EagleDream Health, and Health Care Originals.
The Century Club, located at 566 East Avenue in Rochester, NY.
Startup Champions New Technology that Reduces Healing Time by as Much as 25%
Chalk it up to serendipity. Several years ago, Arthur Moss, MD, the Bradford C. Berk MD, PhD Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center was conducting a large-scale clinical study in his laboratory. His team noticed an interesting phenomenon: cells adjacent to the electrodes of implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs) were more functional than other cells. Dr. Moss took this observation to his colleague, Shey-Shing Sheu, PhD, Professor of Medicine, now at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Sheu was able to conclude that the electromagnetic fields generated by the ICD leads were stimulating mitochondrial activity in nearby cells. Enhanced mitochondrial activity results in an increased production of ATP, the co-enzyme that transports chemical energy within living cells. In effect, the patients’ mitochondria were converting electric energy into chemical energy! Cells can use this additional energy to foster tissue and bone healing.
Drs. Moss and Sheu, and others, experimented with different magnetic fields, configurations, and components until they discovered a combination that provided a quantitative, deterministic, and scientifically validated effect. UR Ventures filed for patent protection and has licensed the rights to those patents to SANABIT Technologies, a medical device startup intending to manufacture and commercialize devices based on this research. SANABIT CEO Joseph D. Fargnoli believes that this technology can be rapidly brought to the market and significantly improve many aspects of healthcare.
The first round of devices Sanabit will take to market as a Minimal Viable Product are intended to promote bone and post-operative tissue healing. The devices deliver extremely low levels of electro-magnetic energy – a fraction of the dose from an MRI. More importantly, the devices are non-invasive, relying solely on the body’s own mechanisms to promote healing. It is expected that once the business case closes for tissue and bone healing applications the same technology and principles will be applied to conditions pertaining to Cardiology, Alzheimer’s and Peripheral Vascular Disease as well as others any time short term increase in cellular energy is needed.
Reduced healing times will also mean a reduction in the length of hospital stays and any risks inherent in any lengthy convalescence. Faster recoveries with fewer risks will mean better quality of life for patients and reduced costs for health care providers.
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