UMass Amherst Institute for Applied Life Sciences Holds First Innovators Showcase

NEWS florent presentation
Alex Nichols, founder and chief engineer of florrent, makes his pitch while Karen Utgoff, director of IALS Venture Development, stands at the podium.

Eleven startups that have emerged from campus research, student ideas and/or the collaboratories were featured during Homecoming 2022 on Friday, Oct. 28, at the UMass Amherst Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) Innovators Showcase: Developing Solutions for Real World Challenges.

The event began with an overview of IALS from founding director Peter Reinhart. Venture development and I-Corps site director Karen Utgoff introduced each startup. The innovators each had one minute to give a “lightning pitch,” with additional time for audience questions.

The startups range from idea-stage pre-companies to ventures that have raised initial funding and hired their first employees:

NEWS ADDFab presentation
MIE undergraduate Nikolas Eliopoulos explains the capabilities of ADDFab to an alumni group.
  • Early Screen Mobile App to Detecting Psychological Disorders in Preschoolers
  • Suvorov Sperm Epigenome Rejuvenation
  • ISight Curing and Preventing Cataracts and Presbyopia Without Surgery
  • Organocin Proprietary Bacteriocin Discovery Platform for Novel Antibacterial Agents
  • MacFarlane Medical Simplified Insulin Delivery
  • Elateq Cleaner, Greener More Cost-Effective Water Treatment
  • Optical Waters Custom Ultraviolet Optical Fiber Solutions to Disinfect Hard to Reach Spaces
  • rStream Convenient, Economical, and Sustainable Waste Management
  • RNA4Tx Novel Manufacturing for Wide Expansion of RNA Therapeutics
  • florrent Next Generation High Energy Density Ultracapacitors
  • Ernest Engineered Bacteria to Treat Advanced Cancer

Following the pitches, key elements of the innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem from campus and beyond were highlighted, including the College of Natural Sciences, College of Engineering, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences, Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, I-Corps site, Isenberg School of Management, libraries, Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, Technology Transfer Office, UMass Innovation Institute, Office of the President, Maroon Venture Partners Fund, Mass Ventures, Wolf Greenfield, and Feinberg|Hanson.

NEWS Calorimeter
Andrew Vinard, director of Core Facilities, explains the benefits of the small calorimeter in the Center for Human Health and Performance to alumni.

The event closed with a special thank you to the Manning Family Foundation for its visionary support and an acknowledgement of the six 2022 Manning/IALS Award Winners. The program was followed by a special alumni tour of the centralized UMass Amherst Core Facilities located in the Life Science Laboratories, lunch and networking.