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LLNL Entrepreneurial Event Links Startups With Investors

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Six startup companies born out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) technologies made presentations at a recent entrepreneurial event to attract investors.

The companies—which have licensed technologies in biotech, renewable energy, sensors, infrared imaging and health care—showcased their capabilities at the Entrepreneurs-in-Readiness (EIR) event at the Livermore Valley Open Campus’ High Performance Computing Innovation Center.

The event was part of an EIR program developed by the Lab’s Industrial Partnerships Office (IPO) to connect nascent companies with entrepreneurs and investors. The idea is to engage a diverse group of entrepreneurs and industry experts from Silicon Valley to nurture promising new early-stage technology companies toward commercialization.

"These companies are in the very early stages, and we want to introduce them to people who can help our entrepreneurs further their businesses," said Roger Werne, IPO’s deputy director.

The startups sought business advice and investors from a diverse audience of approximately 50 people.

"My goal was to invite the angel investor community, the venture capital community, and the corporate technology scout community because these are the people who recognize the value of technology," Werne said.

The startups and their LLNL technologies included:

  • DNA TREK, which is using a cutting-edge LLNL technology known as DNATrax, a biological bar code that manufacturers can spray on food products to trace contaminated, fraudulent, or adulterated samples back to their source in about an hour—significantly reducing the risk of food fraud and foodborne illnesses that cost the industry more than $85 billion a year.
  • Global Renewable Energy ENgines, Inc. (GREEN), an alternative energy company whose affordable, flexible, and reliable renewable energy system uses a breakthrough, proprietary LLNL technology known as a GyroSole engine. The engine can utilize a variety of traditional or renewable fuels to create steam that, in turn, drives an electric generator and captures the residual or waste heat for other onsite uses—and provides a five-year payback to users.
  • MicroMetrics (MMI), a company that is building sensors for personal devices, industrial products, and sporting goods using LLNL’s micro-electromechanical system-based Contact Stress Sensor (CSS), which measures contact stress or the squeezing force between two surfaces—for example, the impact of a collision on a football helmet—and can be used in products such as wearable fitness devices, footwear, helmets, batteries, robotics, automotive, semiconductor equipment, etc.
  • Near Infrared Imaging (NII), which uses LLNL’s Vein-Eye technology, a noninvasive diagnostic tool, to help healthcare providers better detect and monitor health problems such as tumors near the surface of the skin, brain injuries, cancers, and neural and cardiovascular diseases; and more safely insert a needle for intravenous therapy or to draw blood.
  • Nzyme2HC, a company that is further developing an LLNL technology known as NanoLipoprotein Particles (NLPs), which are small particles that enable biological production of hydrogen (H2) gas, making it easier to generate H2-based energy in a cleaner, greener, renewable, and cheaper way.
  • Test It, which plans to use LLNL’s lateral flow technology to build simple home kits that will test for up to six sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in less than an hour, potentially removing barriers to testing, such as cost and embarrassment.


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