TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- UAVenture Capital, a Tucson-based venture capital fund dedicated to the commercialization of discovery products, technology and services emerging from the University of Arizona, today announced its third and fourth investments for Fund II, its eighth and ninth investment since launching the Fund.
The fund has invested in CarboShield Inc., which has developed an easy, low-cost way to strengthen thousands of aging steel, concrete and wood bridges across the globe. The company is currently responding to worldwide infrastructure repair projects by utilizing carbon fiber prefabricated forms, which are 10 times stronger than steel. The patented process negates the current repair processes by allowing the original structure to remain intact. Unlike carbon fiber wrapping currently in use, which takes significant time and manpower, CarboShield's product is rapidly installed, is virtually permanent, and can be simply installed with no environmental impact.
The fund has also invested in MediCarbone Inc., the patent holder of a flexible carbon fiber fabric inserted inside and around a fractured bone. The fabric is filled with an inert polymer to inflate the fabric, which then acts as a permanent cast which cannot be rebroken. The technology could replace a traditional cast and can be used on human or animal broken bones when a traditional cast is not viable.
The invested funds from UAVC will support further development of the technologies in both companies. CarboShield already has several potential customers and projects worldwide and plans to install its product in approximately three months. MediCarbone's product will require U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for human trials. However, the company plans to begin testing in animals in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The inventor of both technologies is Hamid Saadatmanesh, professor of engineering in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Mechanics. Saadatmanesh is recognized throughout the world as an expert in carbon fiber applications.
"Hamid is a brilliant engineer who has used his entrepreneurial skills and imagination to solve significant worldwide issues through the creative use of carbon fiber. We see huge opportunities for both infrastructure repair and medical utilization of his inventions," said Fletcher McCusker, CEO and founder of UAVenture Capital.
Doug Hockstad, assistant vice president of Tech Launch Arizona, the UA unit that commercializes technologies and innovations originating from the UA, noted the unique nature of MediCarbone's product.
"We are excited about Dr. Saadatmanesh's innovation for bone repair because of the difference the medical application can make and the lack of anything similar in the marketplace," he said. "This kind of creative application of carbon fiber technology is yet one more example of how Arizona is engaged in moving the fourth industrial revolution forward."
"As the eighth and ninth investment in UA technology by UAVenture Capital, these ventures are exciting applications of Dr. Saadatmanesh's research, and amazing examples of the kind of research the UA can produce with positive global impact," said Robert C. Robbins, president of the University of Arizona. "The ability to accelerate UA discoveries into the marketplace is integral to our role as a global land-grant university, and fundamentally important in our new strategic plan. We are pleased that UAVenture Capital continues to engage with our faculty to help create an ecosystem of research, innovation, invention and commercialization, and I am delighted every time we learn of world-changing inventions by our faculty, students and staff, and the opportunities they create here at the University of Arizona."
UAVenture Capital Fund II, LLC is a Tucson based investment fund designed specifically to help finance University of Arizona connected enterprises including the commercialization of faculty led innovations originating at the UofA. The fund provides early stage capital to companies where the science or service array was pioneered by faculty members, students and/or colleagues at the University of Arizona, one of the top research universities in the world.
About Tech Launch Arizona
The University of Arizona is a place of learning, invention and discovery, and Tech Launch Arizona helps to bring those discoveries to the world through commercial pathways. Our primary focus is on ensuring that technologies and innovations originating with UA researchers find meaningful application.
About the University of Arizona
Under President Robert C. Robbins, the UA is leading the west in initiatives to enhance on-campus innovation, invention, research and commercialization. Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader in research, the university brings more than $684 million in research investment each year and ranks in the top 25 research institutions among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities.
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