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GOOSE Leads Lantha Inc’s $2.6M Series A

First Financing by GOOSE into a University of Texas Technology

Houston, TX, October 2, 2019

The GOOSE Society of Texas and Lantha Inc., a solid-state chemical sensor start-up, today announced the closing of a $2.6 million Series A Preferred Stock financing.  Proceeds will be used to finalize the development of Lantha’s commercial products, hire key personnel, and further buttress and expand Lantha’s intellectual property portfolio. The company expects to have its initial product on the market by the first quarter of next year.

Lantha has developed a unique, broadly applicable chemical sensor platform technology that it expects will disrupt many markets, including moisture analysis, trace chemical detection and analysis and fuel integrity testing.  The technology is a novel form of solid-state chemical sensors invented by research chemists at the University of Texas.  Dr. Simon Humphrey, Associate Professor of Chemistry at UT, is the principal inventor and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Lantha.

Lantha’s hand-held reader and single-use, disposable solid-state sensors are faster, cheaper and easier to use than traditional analytic tools such as NMR, FTIR and Karl Fischer Titration, and are just as accurate.  Robert Toker, CEO and Chairman of Lantha, said, “We have world class scientists, who are the inventors of our technology, and a strong founding team, and we’ve attracted a great group of investors led by Jeff Smisek and the GOOSE Society in Houston as well as several prominent investors associated with the University of Texas at Austin. Jeff, Samantha Lewis, Executive Director of the GOOSE Society, and the entire GOOSE team are now our team; they have invested not only their capital but also considerable time, energy and wisdom that have improved our information and decision-making quality.  Partnering with GOOSE has materially improved our chances of success.”

This is the GOOSE Society’s first investment into a UT technology.  “We are excited about expanding GOOSE’s investment efforts to UT and look forward to future collaborations and deals,” said Lewis. Several high-profile investors from the UT community invested in Lantha’s Series A Preferred Stock alongside GOOSE investors.

Jeff Smisek, founder of investment firm Flight Partners Management LLC, led the deal and will take a seat on Lantha’s board of directors.  He said, Jeff Smisek, Houston Texas super angel investors“Lantha is a great example of the GOOSE Society’s investment thesis — a company with proprietary and disruptive technology, low capital costs, large addressable markets, speedy product development and high margins which can benefit from the vast experience and contacts of the GOOSE Society’s investors. We are proud to lead this financing and look forward to working closely with Lantha’s management and world class scientists as they build a powerhouse in the field-based chemical analysis market.”

About GOOSE Society:

The GOOSE Society of Texas is a Houston based investment group comprised of high net worth, successful business executives and investors.  GOOSE has invested over $50 million in early stage start-ups and has had numerous successful exits.  The group invests around $10 million per year across a variety of industries, but with a focus on breakthrough, proprietary technologies.

About Lantha:

Lantha is commercializing a novel technology developed by research chemists at the University of Texas that allows rapid, low-cost, point-of-use trace chemical detection and measurement.  The company’s proprietary metal organic framework (MOF) sensor technology, called PCM-22, consists of a MOF framework embedded with chromophores and lanthanide ions, all on a nano-scale, that emit unique color and intensity signals in the presence of analytes upon exposure to ultraviolet light, permitting highly accurate chemical measurement.  Lantha has significant addressable markets across a large range of industries, ranging from pharmaceuticals to oil and gas to water to defense.

Additional Press:

Innovation Map Article

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GOOSE Co-Leads Syzygy’s Series A with MIT Fund, The Engine

Syzygy Plasmonics venture deal logo

Syzygy Raises $5.8 Million to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Chemical Manufacturing  

HOUSTON, Texas — Syzygy Plasmonics, a technology company developing the world’s highest performance photocatalyst, today announced it has raised $5.8 million in Series A funding. Co-led by The Engine, the venture capital firm launched by MIT in 2016 to invest in early-stage Tough Tech companies, and by The GOOSE Society of Texas, a Houston based investment group comprised of successful entrepreneurs that invest in early-stage disruptive technology companies. The round includes participation from EVOK Innovations and angel investors from Creative Destruction Labs-Rockies Cohort.

Syzygy is developing a new photocatalytic chemical reactor powered by light from renewable electricity instead of heat from burning fuel. Syzygy’s photocatalytic reactor holds promise to revolutionize the industrial gas, chemical and energy industries by drastically reducing the cost and carbon emissions in the production process for a wide range of major commodity chemicals such as fuel, fertilizer and plastic. Based upon two decades of research and breakthroughs in materials science from world-renowned Professors Naomi Halas and Peter Nordlander at Rice University (Laboratory for Nanophotonics), the photocatalyst being used is orders of magnitude more active, stable and efficient than any previous photocatalyst.

“The pioneering work by Professors Halas and Nordlander and the commercialization efforts by Syzygy — a tremendous synergy between academia and industry — gives the energy industry a new advantage in the fight against climate change,” said Trevor Best, CEO and co-founder of Syzygy. “We see a future where it is possible for all fuels, chemicals, and fertilizers to be produced both sustainably and at a lower cost than other options. We now have a real opportunity to reduce, if not completely, eliminate the carbon footprint associated with these production process.”

“We started Syzygy to utilize breakthroughs in plasmonic science to drastically reduce the cost and carbon emissions in the chemicals and energy industries,” said Suman Khatiwada, CTO and co-founder of Syzygy. “Our technology has the potential to provide a positive global impact on these industries and the people they serve by enhancing sustainability, improving accessibility, lowering cost, and enabling new business models.”

The new investment will power Syzygy’s facility expansion and hiring to scale product development of its photocatalytic reactor.

“Syzygy is creating a platform technology through its new photocatalytic chemical reactor that has the potential to transform how we approach chemicals manufacturing — using light instead of burning fossils as a new power source for chemical reactors,” said Katie Rae, CEO and managing partner of The Engine. “The Engine is thrilled to help advance the mission of this incredibly driven and passionate team of founders to enable a future of zero-emission chemicals manufacturing.”

Today’s investment comes on the heels of other significant developments for Syzygy. Earlier this year, Syzygy received grants from the Department of Energy for the development of a reactor to create hydrogen from ammonia and from the National Science Foundation SBIR Program for the development of a reactor that processes carbon dioxide.

Samantha Lewis, Director of GOOSE, commented, “The Syzygy team is sound, the technology is incredibly exciting, and we love the Rice University connection. GOOSE is very pleased with this investment and excited about GOOSE investor Don Kendall, former board director of Solar City, taking the lead as a board director of Syzygy.”Don Kendall, an investor Houston Texas, goose society of texas

Additional Press:

MIT Technology Review

Business Wire

Innovation Map

Open post Medical device startup in Houston

GOOSE Portfolio Company Saranas Heads to Clinical Trials

Saranas Inc, a GOOSE portfolio company and Houston-based medical device startup, recently closed a round of $2.8 million to kick off clinical trails for their Early Bird Bleed Monitoring System. This round brings their total funding to $12 million.

Early Bird Bleed Monitoring System, invented by Dr. Mehdi Razavi at the Texas Heart Institute, is meant to detect bleeding complications during procedures.  The company anticipates FDA approval in early 2019.

In 2017, Saranas was named a finalist for the International Cardiovascular Innovation Award:  one of the most prestigious awards for medical startups worldwide.

startups, ICI, Innovation, GOOSE Society, Houston Funding, Venture
Dr. Phillippe Géneréux (CMO), Kevin Maples (Board Director), and Zaffer Syed (CEO) at the International Conference for Innovations in Isreal.

Larry Lawson, GOOSE board member, and Kevin Maples, a close friend of GOOSE and son-in-law of GOOSE member Dan Steppe, sit on the Board of Directors for Saranas.

A big thank you to Houston Innovation Map and Business Wire for covering Saranas in full detail and the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute for the support offered to Saranas and countless other healthcare startups.

GOOSE Portfolio Company SiNode Enters $4.5M Joint Venture

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.

 

 

TMCx Digital Health 2018 Pitch Day: Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Patient Care, Record Breaking Attendance & More

 

 The Texas Medical Center, Houston –  TMC is the world’s largest medical center with over 100,000 employees and 170,000 operations performed each year. With a center larger than even the 2nd and 3rd medical centers combined, it has never been faster and easier to drive from lab research to operation room in minutes.

TMCx is an accelerator that aims “to advance the development of health and medical technology companies by connecting visionary entrepreneurs to the abundant resources of the Texas Medical Center.”

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Cody Simmons, CEO of DermaSensor

Yesterday TMCx hosted the 2018 Digital Health Demo Day.  Prior to the start of the pitches, the room was filled with excitement and anticipation as the young companies prepared themselves to stand before what Tim Buffet (TMCx Advisor) called “record breaking crowds.” The TMCx Digital Health Demo Day hit a record number of 824 registered attendees with 500 viewers on the live webcast. Buffet added “It has been very cool to watch the companies’ ideas grow into something spectacular like this.”

One of the attendees noted how exciting it is to see such forward looking technologies and technology companies plugging into the Houston ecosystem.  One of those such companies, Particle Health (New York), is a blockchain-based consent management platform which enables a radical new way to securely facilitate the exchange of healthcare information across institutions.

Particle Health addresses a current challenge: clinical health data is siloed behind a healthcare organization’s inundated administers and technology stacks, and this is becoming an increasingly expensive and time-consuming process.

Their solution puts the patient at the center of the authorization process, allowing them to manage the consent of what and to whom their data can be shared. With patients engaged, this platform enables healthcare organizations to regulate the access to their patient’s data securely and efficiently.

Here, blockchain is key. It allows for Particle Health to automate the sharing of granular information individually, securely, and anonymously without the need for a ‘middle-man’ and immutably track each transaction.

Overall, TMCx Digital Health 2018 was a spectacular experience that not only drew in life science individuals and investors, but any individuals or investors who enjoy hearing brain stimulating pitches and learning about the cutting edge technology coming out of Houston.

Congratulations to all of the teams and to TMCx for another successful accelerator class – we are all excited to watch these companies continue their growth.

Here are the rest of the startup companies that presented Thursday afternoon:

Abaka Health (San Francisco) – Abaka Health helps providers create a better end-to-end patient experience by bringing together the clinical and financial aspects of health care into one easy-to-use platform.

Agathos (San Francisco) – Reduces unnecessary variation in hospital care via individualized metrics, actionable feedback and physician-led behavior change.

B.Well (Baltimore) – Empowering consumers by aggregating their health care data by providing incentivized care coordination, along with concierge and matching services.

Deep 6 AI (Pasadena California) – Using artificial intelligence on clinical data to increase the quantity, and find better-matched patients, for clinical trials in minutes, instead of months.

Dermasenor (Miami) – Connected device enabling health care professionals and patients to efficiently check for skin cancer by leveraging cutting-edge technologies.

Evidence Care (Nashville, Tennessee) – Clinical decision support tool that allows providers to access evidence-based treatment recommendations that are patient-focused, enhance the shared decision-making process and accelerate their EHR workflow.

Gain Life (Boston) – Digital platform using personalized and adaptive behavior change programs to engage indivudals in achieving better outcomes.

KlitKit (Denmark) – Smart button and application that monitors, analyzes and improves habits and behaviors.

Luminare (Houston) – Anti-sepsis SaaS incorporating behavioral change and intelligent medical record augmentation.

NarrativeDx (Austin) – Artifical intelligence platform identifying insights from patient feedback to improve CAHPS scores, increase referrals and reduce nurse turnover.

Orintel (Houston) – Hardware and software solutions providing operational support and real-time OR status to deliver a more cost-effective surgical suite to staff and patients.

Patients We Share (Houston) – Workflow communication application using machine learning to foster connectivity within the health care ecosystem, aligning patients with the most appropriate providers, product and services.

Revealix (Austin) – Innovative medical imaging software service pioneering early discovery of diabetic limb complications which is non-invasive, mobile and at the point-of-care.

ScalaMed (Australia) – Blockchain prescription solution which re-routes prescriptions to the patient, creating engaged, empowered, and educated patients, and allowing patients to choose a pharmacy based on convenience and value.

ScenceTech (Austin) – Autonomous, continuous monitoring electrocardiogram and heart rate variability bracelet using a proprietary ECG/HRV cloud-based interpretation platform.

Softcare Studios (Italy) – Immersive virtual reality experiences aimed at improving the well-being of patients undergoing painful and anxiety-provoking procedures during therapy.

Strados Labs (Philadelphia, PA) – Continuous breathing sensor that connects doctors with asthma and COPD patients to improve care management and remote patient monitoring.

Sunrise Health (Boston) – Text-based group support for behavioral health patients utilizing artificial intelligence tools to increase provider capacity and catch complications early.

Trayt (Redwoods City, California) – Data collection and analytics company providing insights and a daily road map to improve diagnosis, treatments and quality of life for patients with brain disorders.

Trusted Health (San Francisco) – Opportunity platform for the modern nurse, connecting top RNs to flexible nursing jobs at innovative employers.

Well Health (Santa Barbara, California) – An intuitive two-way texting platform for front office and patients that eliminates phone tag and improves the health care experience.

Written by Blake George, GOOSE Society Analyst.

 

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