WBT Conference Draws Eclectic Innovation Mix, San Diego Included

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enable cell-based therapeutic approaches in areas like diabetes, wound healing, burn treatment, blood product supply, reproductive health, and other stem cell-based therapies. Muller estimates the market for Cyternity’s cell stabilization products for wound healing and pancreatic beta-islet cell therapies alone would be in the multi-billion dollar range. The company seeks $10 million in funding, as well as licensing and strategic partnerships.


Founded in 2012 by Joshua Windmiller, a post-doctoral fellow at UC San Diego’s Laboratory for NanoBioElectronics, Electrozyme has developed electrochemical sensor technology that analyzes the chemical constituents of a wearer’s perspiration. These non-invasive, skin-conforming sensors are fabricated using low-cost screen-printing, cheap enough to be disposable following a workout. Windmiller says Electrozyme’s technology can augment the physical measurements of existing sensor technology (such as the user’s heart rate or steps taken) with insights into the wearer’s metabolic response. The startup is seeking $650,000 in debt or investment funding, licensing, or strategic partners that can provide the cash needed to refine and commercialize the technology.

Molecular Assembly

Founder and CEO Curt Becker is a 21-year veteran of Applied Biosystems, which merged with Invitrogen in 2008 to become Carlsbad, CA-based Life Technologies. Becker has been developing next-generation technology for synthesizing DNA. The biologically and enzymatically based technology would produce DNA strands up to 30 times longer than are now produced using the classical chemical methods commercialized almost 30 years ago. Becker says the relatively short DNA strands produced by the classic method are unable to meet the needs of the emerging field of synthetic biology. He also says the new technology under development represents a three-fold reduction in cost, and would eliminate tons of toxic waste produced using the existing method. Molecular Assembly is seeking $1 million in initial funding, a licensing deal, or a strategic alliance.

NEEM Scientific

NEEM has been adapting advances in nanotechnology to develop high-throughput manufacturing technologies for use in existing industrial infrastructure. The company says Row-to-Row Scanning Laser Interference Patterning manufacturing platform provides fully automated batch production, and uses less environmentally harmful chemicals. Potential uses include solar cell manufacturing, hydrogen production, nanowire-based light-emitting diodes, and healthcare-related products. Neem CEO Hungtao “Ted” Hou is seeking $750,000 for prototype development, and to build out the company’s market and intellectual property.


After winning the grand prize at the San Diego Tech Coast Angels’ Quick Pitch competition last month, OvaPal founder Giovanna Scheidler is seeking $100,000 to develop prototypes of the startup’s fertility tracking technology. OvaPal’s system is a wearable sensor that measures a woman’s temperature and other physiological parameters of ovulation. Data are transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone or mobile device that uses predictive algorithms to optimize the odds of conception. With 4 million women in the US trying to get pregnant annually, OvaPal estimates the current infertility market at $3.5 billion, and growing to $5 billion by 2017.

Tortuga Logic

Founded by Jason Oberg, a doctoral candidate in computer science at U.C. San Diego, Tortuga Logic has developed a hardware security tool known as Gate-level Information Flow Tracking (GLIFT). The technology ensures that the software cryptographic “key” installed in a computer system cannot be compromised, regardless of the operating system. Tortuga Logic says its GLIFT technology can be used to prove that hardware-specific vulnerabilities remain secure at any layer of the hardware/software stack. Tortuga Logic says potential customers include Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Northrup Grumman, Apple, BAE, Green Hills, Windriver, and Boeing. The company is seeking $500,000 in funding, licensing deal, or strategic partnership.

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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