Mtech Ventures, a technology company incubation program at the University of Maryland, recently welcomed two new ventures into its space in the Technology Advancement Program (TAP) building on campus.
InventWood LLC is an advanced materials company created to commercialize the wood-based innovations of Materials Science and Engineering Associate Professor Liangbing Hu. Hu’s research team discovered that by altering the chemistry of commonly-used wood, it can be made transparent, stronger and lighter than steel, and even bulletproof.
The company plans to develop its wood-based materials for products such as anti-reflective coatings for improved solar cell absorption, guided lighting as building material, clear paper for consumer electronics, transparent paper for improved OLED lighting efficiency, solar steam generation, and thermal insulation.
PathOtrak LLC is developing food safety technologies for the rapid detection of pathogens based upon innovations developed by Fischell Department of Bioengineering Research Assistant Professor Javier Atencia-Fernandez.
Current food pathogen detection technologies can take from 12 to 36 hours, with a large share of the time spent growing bacteria in media so it can be detected without interfering with the food matrix.
PathOtrak’s technology induces bacteria to “swim out” from samples, after which it can be directly analyzed, in a process that goes from sample to answer in less than three hours.
The company plans to manufacture and sell a stand-alone disposable device for the separation of foodborne bacterial pathogens to food contract laboratories, as well as a fully automated solution for the separation and detection of foodborne pathogens to corporate laboratories in partnership with other manufacturers of fast-detection technologies.
In April 2018, PathOtrak received $112,000 in funding from the TEDCO N-STEP program. The company has also received MII phase 1 and phase 3 grants for $110,000 and $150,000 respectively.
Mtech Ventures guides and assists University of Maryland and regional entrepreneurs and inventors in building successful companies around innovative technologies through a focused array of services, including legal advice, expert business mentorship, lab and office space, fundraising assistance, and direct access to the University of Maryland entrepreneurship ecosystem and accompanying resources.