TechColumbus announced Tuesday it has stepped up its commitment to incubator tenant Nanofiber Solutions LLC with a $500,000 loan that will convert to equity, the largest to date from the current $2 million round of state-backed Pre-Seed Fund investments.
Nanofiber Solutions was spun off from Ohio State University in 2009 from the doctoral research of Jed Johnson, along with co-founder John Lannutti. The company uses nanotechnology, or designing and manipulating materials at the submicroscopic level, to build three-dimentional surfaces on which researchers can grow cells – mimicking body tissues much more effectively than the agar gel in most Petri dishes.
Last November, a patient with a cancerous windpipe received the transplant of a trachea grown from his own stem cells on a platform made by Nanofiber Solutions.
“The emerging field of regenerative medicine is one that will change the face of medicine as we know it,” said a statement from Tim Haynes, interim CEO of TechColumbus. “With advances from companies like Nanofiber Solutions, and the launch of Ohio State’s new research Center for Regenerative Medicine, we see this as a promising sector in which Central Ohio can play a pivotal role on a world stage.”
TechColumbus in 2009 gave Nanofiber Solutions a TechGenesis grant, a grant of up to $50,000 for startups. The Pre-Seed Fund, in contrast, converts to an equity stake at the company’s next round of funding or acquisition, with the value of the return determined then.

TechColumbus has made $1.65 million in Pre-Seed investments to five companies over the past year.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2012/04/24/cell-grower-nanofiber-solutions-lands.html

Author: Carrie Ghose