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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 Co NuMat Receives $9M contract with US Army

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.

NuMat Technologies a U.S. based tech company innovating at the intersection of high-performance computing, chemistry, and engineered systems.  NuMat’s technology is from Northwestern University and the team won the 2012 Rice Business Plan CompetitionJay Collins, GOOSE President, is on their Board of Directors.

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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