NuMat Technologies received a $9 million contract from the US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command Chemical and Biological Center (RDECOM C&B). The contract is to develop and manufacture the next-generation materials that will protect and sustain the warfighter.
NuMat is the first company in the world to commercialize MOF’s (metal organic frameworks), applying them first in the electronics and speciality gas sectors, but with potential applications in life sciences, energy and industrial sectors. With the new funding, NuMat will build the world’s first dedicated, commercial-scale manufacturing site for MOF’s and a state-of-the-art application development lab for next-generation filtration and purification technologies.
SiNode Systems, a Chicago-based developer of advanced materials out of Northwestern, and JNC Corporation, a Tokyo-based speciality chemical manufacturer, announced the formation of NanoGraf Corporation, a joint venture focused on commercializing materials for the Lithium-ion battery industry. NanoGraf Corporation launches with $4.5 million and plans to expand commercial production and continue the development of additional materials platforms.
NanoGraf’s technology enhances the performance of battery materials via a proprietary graphene-wrapped silicon anode and can improve battery energy density by 50%.
Ashok Rao, Board Member of both SiNode and the GOOSE Society, was an integral part of the negotiations. GOOSE invested in SiNode Systems after the company won the grand prize at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition in Houston, TX.
See NanoGraf’s media page for the full press release.
Out of the eight companies presenting GOOSE heard from many different verticals located in 4 different geographies, including Silicon Valley,China, and of course, Houston. The industries presented were consumer electronics, artificial intelligence, robotics, medical devices, and lastly manufacturing in specialty chemicals. The GOOSE Society was pleased to have hosted Forest Devices, the 2017 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) winner that is working towards the better treatment of stroke patients with their device, AlphaStroke. The group also heard from the two GOOSE Society Prize winners of the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition, Arovia and M&S Biotics.
The special attendees were Gina Luna & Russ Capper who represented Houston Exponential (HX), an independent 501C-3 organization that supports the growth of the Houston innovation economy. HX leads on the opportunities that require collaboration across the ecosystem, champions the ecosystem by telling the innovation story of the region and its firms, and it builds and attracts the resources the innovation economy needs to thrive. Along with strong momentum powered by fourteen working groups operated with over two-hundred active volunteers from over fifty major corporations, HX has achieved a major milestone with its new innovation district. This 9.4 acre, $100 million redevelopment by Rice University of the Sears building in Midtown is expected to be complete in two years and will bring a district of dense, mixed used space that attracts talent and creates collisions among entrepreneurs, investors, academics and other ecosystem players.
The Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC) is the largest and richest graduate-level student startup competition in the world. Since its inception in 2001, RBPC has grown from 9 competing teams with $10,000 in prize money to 42 teams from around the world competing for more than $1.5 million in cash and investment prizes. In 2005, as a way to support budding entrepreneurs and give back to the Houston community, Jack Gill and 4 other investors decided to form the GOOSE Society and give the grand prize at RBPC. The GOOSE grand prize is now $300,000 with the potential of a much larger investment.
Out of the twelve winners since GOOSE’s inception, there have been 4 successful exits with the most recent being Adhesys Medical (formerly Medical Adhesive Revolution). Another noteworthy exit was Auditude which sold to Adobe. Overall, RBPC winners have returned 2x more capital to the GOOSE Society than invested.