CURF has been proud to assist Clemson University faculty inventors in establishing their own spinout companies from their inventions. Below are five companies recognized for their ingenuity and positive community impact. Faculty inventors interested in learning more about CURF resources about spinouts should review our Spinout Founder’s Handbook.
Inventors: Naren Vyavahare (Bioengineering), Charles Rice (Biological Sciences), Nasim Nosoudi (Bioengineering alumnus), Saketh Ram Karamched (Bioengineering alumnus), Vaideesh Parasaram (Bioengineering alumnus)
Elastrin Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that provides treatments for cardiovascular disease reversal. This therapeutic platform targets and restores degraded elastin by removing the harmful calcification that stiffens arteries. As a result of the elastin targeting, drug efficacy increases, and side effects decrease. The creation of this technology arose from a collaborative effort between Dr. Naren Vyavahare, Hunter Endowed Chair professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Director of South Carolina Bioengineering Center of Regeneration and Formation of Tissues (SC BioCRAFT), Dr. Charles Rice, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and a team of graduate students. Over the past few years, Elastrin Therapeutics has repeatedly been honored in various capacities. The company won the 2018 Xi’an International Entrepreneurship Competition and the 2021 InnoVision Technology Development award. Elastrin received recognition from BioPharma on its 101 Top BioPharma Startups & Companies in the U.S. Elastrin was named a semifinalist for the NEXT Venture Summit and secured seed funding from Kizoo Technology Capital. The company also received grant funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) Academic Start-Up Assistance Program (ASAP) and S.C. Launch Program.
Inventors: Tim Howard (Watt Family Innovation Center), David White (Watt Family Innovation Center and Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management), Carl Ehrett (Watt AI), and Snowil Lopes (Clemson Energy Analytics and Visualization Center)
CarbonCents is a company that provides carbon reduction data platforms for predictive energy management. Their system allows for a building’s power, temperature, water, indoor air quality, and occupancy to be measured and analyzed in a utility data system. This software helps organizations plan and achieve sustainability goals using an energy usage index. CarbonCents was born out of Clemson University’s Energy Visualization and Analytics Center (CEVAC), created by Tim Howard, Dr. David White, Dr. Carl Ehrett, and Snowil Lopes. The company is a South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) Member Company in good standing. CarbonCents was recognized as a featured company at the South Carolina Energy Office’s 2022 Association of South Carolina Energy Managers Conference, and the 2022 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Building Performance Analysis Conference.
Inventor: Naren Vyavahare (Bioengineering)
ElastinTech Inc. is a clinical stage skincare company that develops cosmetic formulations to improve and rebuild skin health. The company’s flagship brand is Neolastin, a luxury skincare line that rejuvenates and repairs the skin through hyaluronic acid and stimulating collagen and elastin production. These elements are novel in that they work synergistically to decrease fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Naren Vyavahare’s research on elastin revitalization served as the foundational technology for the formulation used in Neolastin. Mainly funded by two Clemson University alumni, Neolastin is continuously being adopted as a worldwide trusted clinical skincare brand. The product line is available through the company’s website, www.Neolastin.com, as well as marketing and sales channels of LovelySkin, VERISHOP, and Neiman Marcus.
Inventors: Zach Brenton (Plant and Environmental Sciences alumnus), Rick Boyles (Plant and Environmental Sciences and Pee Dee Research and Education Center), and Steve Kresovich (Plant and Environmental Sciences)
Carolina Seed Systems (CSS) is a spin-out from research conducted through the Clemson University Advanced Plant Technology (APT) program by Dr. Zachary Brenton, Advanced Plant Technology alumnus, and Dr. Richard Boyles, Assistant Professor of Plant Breeding & Genetics in the Department of Plant and Environmental Science. The APT program, established in 2012, is focused on researching and developing plant technologies that improve the performance and profitability of crop agriculture. Carolina Seed Systems is actively developing climate-smart crops with increased carbon sequestration capabilities to address the harmful effects of CO2 emissions. As a first step to addressing this challenge, CSS created sorghum seeds explicitly adapted to the American Southeastern climate, addressing the rising demand for a regional livestock feed production resource. Currently, CSS is deployed on nearly 15,000 acres annually. In the future, the company plans to continue diversifying their product line, thus providing more resources for growers.
Inventors: Jeffrey N. Anker (Chemistry), John DesJardins (Bioengineering), and Caleb Behrend (OrthoArizona)
Aravis BioTech LLC is a medical device startup company developing sensors on implanted medical devices to quantitatively track fracture healing and measure local infection biomarkers. This gives physicians, patients, and their care teams more quantitative assessments of fracture healing and earlier indications of pathologies, when behavioral, pharmacologic, and surgical interventions are more effective. Uniquely, their sensors are read using plain radiography which is routinely acquired as part of the standard of care but does not display quantitative mechanical strain or local chemical concentrations. The approach uses “old school” electronics-free gauges, which are highly robust, simple to manufacture, intuitive to use, and readable on radiographs. This company was co-founded by Clemson University inventors Dr. Jeffrey Anker, the College of Science Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Bioengineering, and Dr. John DesJardins, Hambright Distinguished Professor of Engineering Leadership in the Department of Bioengineering, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Caleb Behrend. Notably, Aravis BioTech won two business pitch competitions (SCBio and Clemson Smackdown), was one of twenty-three companies invited to showcase at the 2018 Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA) Medtech Conference, received $83,500 in funding in 2020 from the South Carolina Research Authority USAP, acceleration, and Phase 0 grants, participated in the NSF ICORPs program, was named one of three finalists for the 2020 InnoVision Technology Development Award, received a $300 k Phase I NIH SBIR to develop prosthetic joint infection sensors, and has a sublicensee on spine aspects who received a Phase I SBIR funding.