University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Recent Licensing Activity

UMass Amherst Start-up Companies Launched in FY 2016

1.      MicrobeElectric, LLC

Professor Derek Lovley and colleagues have shown soil bacteria geobacter produces an electric current as it grows, and this can be monitored to detect soil contamination.  The start-up company MicrobeElectric will develop field-deployable wireless sensors that can be used to monitor landfills, clean-up sites, and under pipelines and gas station tanks. 

2.      PearlPod LLC

Female horses can behave erratically during their mating season, which can be hazardous to riders.  UMA veterinarian Carlos Gradil has developed unique intrauterine devices that can prevent this behavior. The company PearlPod will develop this device for horses, and develop it further as a contraceptive for pets, wild animals and humans.  

3.      AptaCrops LLC

As the population grows and global warming progresses, growing enough food will be a challenge.  Professor Om Parkash has developed genetic tools that allow plants to grow well under drought conditions and in salty water, which can expand usable farm land.  AptaCrops will transfer capabilities to important food crops such as corn and soybeans.  

4.      Treaty, LLC

Professor Ken Carter and his graduate student Yinyong Li have developed a solution made from trees which prevents fogging when coated on glass or plastic surfaces.  Treaty’s first product, “FogKicker,” will be marketed for preventing fog on the inside of masks worn by divers and snorkelers.  Its use will then be extended to various health and safety applications.  

5.      Excipient Foods Company (name TBD)

Professor Julian McClements has developed methods of adapting foods so that they enhance the absorption of drugs and vitamins in the digestive tract.  Business development firm Kayon Partners will build a new company to develop these “excipient foods” for a variety of drugs and vitamins.  

6.      Agum Technologies LLC

Professor Dhandapani Venkataraman (“DV”) and Postdoc Tim Gehan have developed solar panels that are tailored to light frequencies of interior lighting, and perform better than traditional solar panels indoors.  Agum Technologies will adapt the technology for large scale production, and develop indoor solar panels that can power laptops, phones and tablets.  

7.      Lumme Inc.

Professor Depak Ganeson and graduate student Akshaya Shanmugam have developed software that uses a wrist-worn motion sensor to detect when a person is smoking.  Lumme is developing a smoking cessation program that uses data from this software to predict when the craving to smoke will occur, and provide feedback to help patients resist lighting that cigarette.  

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