CORVALLIS, Ore. – Administrators of the Venture Accelerator at Oregon State University have chosen the first 12 research concepts or spinoff companies to participate in the program, which is designed to spur the creation of new companies from university-based research.
The Venture Accelerator is one component of the Oregon State University Advantage, an educational, research and commercialization initiative begun earlier this year. Officials say it should increase industry investment in OSU research by 50 percent and lead to the creation of 20 new businesses within five years.
With the announcement of its first participants, some of those companies may already be taking shape.
In the future this could lead to innovative types of automobiles, improved heating systems, more efficient solar cells, electricity produced from wastewater, an enhanced online shopping experience or – in a pinch – a safe and efficient caesarian delivery of a baby in small, rural hospitals.
“These concepts and companies are emerging from OSU or the Corvallis community, and we feel good about the commercial potential of all of them,” said John Turner, co-director of the Venture Accelerator Program.
“We think the Venture Accelerator will contribute at all stages of their commercial development and really speed the companies toward success,” Turner said. “It’s also worth noting that we’ve chosen some technologies that are incremental advances in a field, and others may represent breakthroughs of global importance. There’s a place for both in what we’re trying to do in job creation and economic advancement.”
The Venture Accelerator at OSU is designed to identify innovation or research findings that might form the basis for profitable companies, and then streamline their development with the legal, marketing, financial and mentoring needs that turn good ideas into real-world businesses. The approach can be customized to each client’s needs and also allows them to tap into the resource of OSU students who can assist in research and business development.
The new companies and innovations include:
Waste2Watergy – A Corvallis startup company to commercialize OSU research on the production of electricity from wastewater, while also treating the wastewater.
Valliscor, LLC – Specializing in low-cost, environmentally-benign manufacture of chemicals for many large scale markets, the company uses specialized continuous flow reactor systems in place of large batch systems.
MOVE – Referring to “methane opportunities for vehicle energy,” this company is being developed from research at OSU-Cascades to allow a car that runs on methane to compress its own fuel and be re-fueled from a homeowner’s natural gas supply.
Macromolecular structure characterization – This is based on a patent of a new way to solve protein structures that could transform biological research.
Heating systems – Devices using microchannel arrays to heat air or water that are small or portable could offer much higher efficiency for residential or other uses.
Beet – A solar cell device will be developed based on patented absorber material that allows high conversion efficiency.
Multicopter Northwest – This company will develop and sell small helicopter and photographic systems to produce photos or video at an altitude up to 400 feet.
PlayPulse – The physiological responses of video game users will be measured to help producers understand user behavior.
InforeMed – The company will create serious games for health care education.
BuyBott – This online website will simplify shopping and enhance social interaction.
Bauer Labs LLC – Technology from the company includes a facilitator for emergency caesarean delivery, a special challenge in rural hospitals.
FanTogether – Sports fans will stay connected to their favorite teams or individuals.
The OSU Venture Accelerator is a component of the South Willamette Valley Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, or RAIN, which was made possible by recent legislative approval and funding of $3.75 million.
The University of Oregon and OSU, along with the cities of Eugene, Springfield, Albany and Corvallis, are all collaborating in this broad initiative that taps into the research and educational expertise of academia and aggressively moves it toward private economic growth.