Professional News

UK Startups Awarded SBIR/STTR Match Funding

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 5, 2019) — The University of Kentucky Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) is pleased to announce that six of the 10 high-tech Kentucky companies receiving $2.18 million in Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) match funding are UK startups.

"SBIR/STTR funding provides a critical class of early-stage financing for scalable, technology-based startups that allows founders to mitigate technical risk. Kentucky’s SBIR Matching Funds program leverages federal SBIR funds to enable Kentucky startup founders to create business models through which their novel technologies solve marketplace problems. Collectively, these funds position Kentucky technology-based startups to attract private capital from investors and strategic partners that will accelerate the startup toward commercial success,” said Eric Hartman, associate director for OTC’s New Ventures and director of Co.Create.

The funding program is overseen by KY Innovation within the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and matches all or part of federal SBIR/STTR awards received by Kentucky-based companies or companies that commit to relocation in the state.

The following UK startup companies have been chosen to receive the matching funds:

  • Bluegrass Advanced Materials LLC is developing an oral rinse compound with both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to delay or reduce the severity of oral mucositis ulcers after anti-cancer chemo and radiation therapies. The compound provides prolonged coverage to the treated area reducing the need to reapply and resulting in patient relief.
  • Enepret Incorporated extracts a yeast-derived hydrocarbon oil that stimulates the immune system increasing the effectiveness of vaccines. The work is targeted for flu vaccine efficacy.
  • Gismo Therapeutics created molecules that inhibit the binding and buildup of Alzheimer’s causing compounds. It is a novel therapeutic approach to treating Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Lepidext LLC focuses exclusively on the development of a biological insect control agent, which targets corn earworm and cotton bollworm because of challenges developing resistance to both conventional and transgenic toxins. The product improves the way lepidopteran pests are controlled and reduces the dependency for genetically modified plants and chemical sprays with the long-term goal of eliminating the need for them.
  • PowerTech Water developed a salt-free water filtration system that can isolate one or target many contaminants at once. With no consumables and a system not inhibited by other constituents in the water, the technology has applications in both industrial and residential settings.
  • Signal Solutions LLC is simplifying and streamlining animal research using noninvasive sensors to monitor physiological outputs. The company develops sensor technology to monitor respiratory parameter in research animals for studies where respiratory deficiency is a primary or secondary characteristic of disease.

"The SBIR program has historically been a very pivotal program for many startups with technology from UK, and the Commonwealth’s SBIR Match program compounds the effectiveness for its recipients and creates the type of trajectory our UK startups need. We are thrilled to see the awards from this program cycle once again support numerous UK technologies with high potential for market impact. UK OTC congratulates the many UK faculty inventors and entrepreneurs that have been awarded, and we also congratulate the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for its great leadership in continuing this program,” said Ian McClure, director of the Office of Technology Commercialization.

The Office of Technology Commercialization is the technology transfer office for the University of Kentucky. The core mission of the OTC is to facilitate the commercialization of UK innovations and discoveries for the benefit of the university community, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and global society.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue