These 17 Startups Received Grants from CSIT to Help Them Commercialize their Work

The Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT), part of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, awarded grants to 17 early-stage technology companies in February. These grants were provided through the state’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Direct Financial Assistance Program.

The program supports startups that are receiving funding from highly competitive federal research and development (R&D) grant programs to help them move toward commercialization. The $2.43 million in funding includes $525,000 awarded 17 startups during the program’s fourth funding round.

These grants, of about $25,000 each, are intended to help the awardees increase the intensity of their research, strengthen their commercialization plans, cover operational expenses and become more competitive for Phase II funding. Below are the latest recipients of these awards.

  • Atux Iskay Group (Plainsboro) consults in the areas of  drug discovery, pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis and synthetic technology. It is also conducting Alzheimer drug research funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its founder is Michael Ohlmeyer.
  • AuresTech (Bridgewater) says that it is “leveraging rigorous analysis and modeling, proven experimental experience and a total dedication to provide solutions to the hardest problems for the aerospace [industry] and industrial R&D.”
  • Dina Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Gladstone) “Dina Pharma is developing a new and innovative treatment for Parkinson’s disease [that is] more effective than the current gold-standard treatment with fewer side effects.” Its founder and chairman is Eboo Versi.
  • Enalare Therapeutics (Princeton) is “developing novel therapies for life-threatening acute respiratory and critical care conditions.” The company’s executive chairman, president and CEO is Herm Cukier.
  • Farm to Flame Energy (Kearny) offers “the universal biomass solution, providing scalable, end-to-end electricity generation systems for communities in emerging markets.” It was “founded in 2018 by Will McKnight and Kwaku Jyamfi to commercialize a unique combustion process that was patented by Will’s grandfather and uncle. This process allows several agricultural wastes to burn in a smokeless and odorless fashion.”
  • Innovative AI Technologies (Newark) specializes in computer vision, video analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, deep learning, pattern recognition and edge computing. The company’s CTO is Hang Shi, a graduate of NJIT.
  • Mallika Ashwin Maya Corporation (Bridgewater) was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, which noted that this company “will develop battery energy storage systems with three-phase grid integrated inverters. By using 3D printed magnetic components with Nanocrystalline soft magnetic material, these inverters will advance the state of power conversion system magnets for grid-tied energy storage.” Kanaka Tatikola is listed as the company president.
  • Misram LLC (Holmdel) is also known as “Spectronn.” In 2021 it received a grant from the Department of Homeland Security for “AI Platform to Enable 911 Multimedia Telecommunicator Function.” Listed in the grant were Rajarathnam Chandramouli, CEO, and Vidya Sagar, CTO.
  • Neutroelectric (Camden), now doing business as Becq, received a grant in 2022 for “Formulation and Evaluation of Candidate Materials for Encapsulating Spent Nuclear Fuel in a Dry Storage Canister for Final Repository.” The primary investigator was listed as Danielle Castley.
  • Paragon Pure (Princeton) says, “We help you create clean label flavor wow using natural extracts and essences. Then we preserve the experience. Your flavor is safely encapsulated in a protective home, created using natural food ingredients. When the powder dissolves, the aroma is released providing the same pleasure as the day it was made.” Paragon Pure’s founders are Christopher Gregson and Matthew Sillick.
  • Regenosine (Jersey City) harnesses “the healing potential of adenosine for tissue regeneration.” The company’s CEO is Siddhesh Angle.
  • Shock Tech (Mahwah) says that it “provides custom solutions to your vibration, shock-energy, noise and acoustic challenges — from innovation to manufacturing.” The company is part of the Safer World Group (North America headquarters in New York). Serge Seguin is a Safer World Group managing partner.
  • SingletO2 Therapeutics (New Providence) has a team of scientists working on a breakthrough treatment for periodontal disease. “Harnessing the bacteria-killing capability of singlet oxygen,” their therapy “will treat advanced stages of the disease without surgery.” The company’s CEO is Alan Lyons and its CTO is Alexander Greer.

The following four awardees had each completed Phase I or more of the federal SBIR/STTR programs before applying for Phase II federal funding. Each of these awardees will receive bridge grants of up to $50,000 through CSIT’s Bridge Funding Program.  

  • Bezwada Biomedical (Hillsborough) makes “absorbable polymers [that] are used as bioinks, adhesion prevention barriers, absorbable drug eluting stent coatings, tissue adhesives and sealants, medical device coatings, drug delivery polymers, drug device combinations, absorbable implantable devices and tissue engineering biomaterial scaffolds.” The company was founded by Rao Bezwada, who received his Ph.D. from Stevens Institute of Technology.
  • Impact Business Information Solutions (Princeton) is a “software solutions provider to the Life and Health Sciences …  with the pharmaceutical industry, the healthcare sector and the National Institute of Health (NIH).  [The company focuses] primarily on medical imaging data and [its] EICON Platform includes comprehensive solutions for ECG and Radiology data, multi-‘ology image data assets management, and a unique AI algorithm management solution.”
  • Optimeos Life Sciences (Princeton) The company is developing a transformative nanoparticle platform for the intracellular delivery of RNA. The founder and CEO is Shahram Hejazi, and the cofounder and CTO is Bob Prud’homme.
  • Venarum Medical (Eatontown), according to PitchBook, “offers a prosthetic venous valve and a urinary incontinence device, both of which are catheter-delivered implants, enabling patients to restore the ability to retain urine and void at the appropriate urinary bladder.” Janet Burpee is listed as both CEO and CTO.

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