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UMass Amherst Start-up Companies

Start-up Companies Launched in FY 2017

1.      Genoverde Biosciences, Inc.

Bioengineered tree seedlings with 20% more wood density and improved yield address economic and environmental challenges, as well as sequestering more carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, help to combat climate change. Read more about Genoverde BioSciences, Inc.

2.      AuCoDe, LLC

Machine learning techniques for real-time detection of controversy in alternative data that could affect publicly traded companies, providing valuable insights to trading and asset management firms to inform their investment strategies. Read more about AuCoDe, LLC


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.  Read More about MicrobeElectric LLC

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.  Read More about PearlPod LLC

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.  Read More about AptaCrops LLC

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.  Read More about Treaty LLC

5.      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.  Read More about Agum Technologies LLC

6.      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.  Read More about Lumme Inc.


Earlier Start-up Companies

Felsuma, LLC

Felsuma was created to commercialize a unique material called Geckskin® invented by professors Al Crosby and Duncan Irschick.  Geckskin is a super-adhesive that is based on the feet pads of geckos, which allow geckos to walk on walls and ceilings. It is easy to apply, incredibly strong and easy to remove.  It can replace Velcro, nails and adhesives. Read More

Cyta Therapeutics, Inc.

Cyta Therapeutics was formed to commercialize the nanogel-based drug delivery technology developed by Professor Sankaran "Thai" Thayumanavan. The nanogel can be made with a drug captured inside, and when coated with antibodies that make the nanogel go to a particular tissue, the drug will be delivered only to that tissue. 

Intrata, Inc.

Unfortunately, many potential biotechnology drugs can’t penetrate the cells where they are needed, so they don’t work well or at all.  Professor Greg Tew has developed a chemical tag that when added to such drugs allows them to enter the cells, and Intrata was formed to apply this technology to a vast number of potential biologic drugs. 

Innovation Accelerator, Inc.

Innovation Accelerator was founded by former postdoc Tony McCaffrey to commercialize “Analogy Finder” software, which provides an innovative way to search for patents that are related to and possibly adaptable to a user’s unique ideas or technical needs. Read More at:

Anellotech, Inc.

Founded by former Professor George Huber, Anellotech is developing a catalytic process for converting non-food biomass into chemical precursors usually obtained from petroleum. These precursors are used to make important plastics such as polyester, polystyrene, polycarbonate, nylon and polyurethane.  Read More at:


MPF was founded by the late professor Herbert Hultin to commercialize a process that produces a superior, healthier filet or meat product, --while improving yield. This MPF “Succulence System” does this by efficiently extracting meat from trimmings, racks or other low value sources to "put meat back into meat".  Read More at:

PA Technologies, LLC

PA Technologies was co-founded by the late professor Robert Weis to commercialize an innovative biologic drug screening platform. PA Technologies exclusively licensed the technology to Blue Sky Bioservices, which in 2016 was purchased by LakePharma, the largest biologics contract research organization (CRO) in the U.S.  Read More at: