The Ideadvance Seed Fund, aimed at helping more people on University of Wisconsin campuses commercialize their ideas, has identified seven projects that could receive a total of as much as $200,000.
Sleep Environment Innovations LLC, a company that came out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, qualified for stage two funding of as much as $50,000, based on certain milestones. The company is creating a device to prevent sleeping-related deaths and injuries in infants who share a bed with their parents.
Six other companies qualified for grants of as much as $25,000.
The $2 million Ideadvance fund was established in 2014 by the UW System and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. It provides grant recipients up to $25,000 for the first stage of determining the marketability of an idea or technology, and up to $50,000 for developing a business model. Faculty, staff, students and companies licensing technology from all UW campuses but UW-Madison may participate, said Idella Yamben, the fund’s “new idea concierge.”
“With Ideadvance, we try to simulate the real world start-up environment for these faculty and student entrepreneurs,” said Dave Linz, associate director of the Center for Technology Commercialization. “We want them to get out of the building and test their ideas and business models in the marketplace.”
The six companies that qualified for first-stage grants of as much as $25,000 are:
■DG1 Technologies. UWM graduate and undergraduate students are working on a robotic platform for molecular research.
■Ginkgo. UWM staff members are developing a mobile platform that enables communication between care providers and families.
■MillBot. UW-Platteville undergraduates are building a computer numerical control (CNC) milling machine. Milling is a common type of machining that is used to shape solid items by cutting away material.
■Mix Apples. UW-Whitewater faculty are developing an integrated health care solution for camps.
■SōPod. UW-River Falls undergraduates are creating dissolvable packets of soap to eliminate packaging waste by hotels and other users.
■TriPolder. UW-Platteville undergraduates are working on a holder for tablets that can also function as a tripod.