ATDC Graduate Company Recognized by White House

Suniva, a Georgia-based manufacturer of advanced solar cells, was recognized by Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu as “An American Success Story” on his White House blog.

The entry followed Chu’s visit to the Georgia Institute of Technology, where Suniva’s technology was developed.

The company, which designs, manufactures and markets advanced solar energy cells, is the brainchild of Ajeet Rohatgi, director of the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education at Georgia Tech. Suniva is a graduate member of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a start-up accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation.  ATDC currently has three facilities; two at Georgia Tech’s main campus in Atlanta, and one at Georgia Tech’s satellite campus in Savannah.

To read Secretary Chu’s full blog entry, click here.

Announcing 2010 Graduate Members for the 30th Anniversary ATDC Showcase

More than 1,000 technology leaders, university leaders, investors and aspiring entrepreneurs are expected to witness emerging technology company members and graduate members exhibit their innovative technologies and successes at this year’s Advanced Technology Development Center Startup Showcase. The event, which is celebrating 30 years of the ATDC’s dedication to growing technology companies in Georgia, will be held Monday, May 24, from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.

“We are proud of this group of startup companies and the level of success they have achieved; they are representative of the types of companies that have been successful during the first 30 years of our existence,” said Stephen Fleming, vice president and director of the ATDC. “As we open our doors to a larger number of quality entrepreneurs and startup companies, we believe that the number of companies that we can assist will grow.”

Each year ATDC member companies that have attained rigorous growth milestones are selected to graduate from the startup incubator. The 2010 graduating companies are:

* CommerceV3, a provider of an order-management system that allows users to create, launch and grow customized web storefronts;

* Endgame Systems, an organization of highly-skilled information security veterans providing advanced vulnerability research programs and next-generation security solutions;

* Izenda, a company that delivers a fully-integrable add-on to software developers that gives end users the ability to create and customize reports; and

* PureWire, a web security software-as-a-service vendor that secures business and social interactions on the web.

For more information about the Showcase or to RSVP, please contact Melissa Zbeeb at gro.cdtanull@beebz.assilem or visit www.atdc.org/showcase. The cost of the event is $10 per person.

About the ATDC:

The Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) is a startup accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in tax revenues by graduating more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing. ATDC has provided business incubation and acceleration services to hundreds of Georgia startups – most of which are not based on Georgia Tech research, but which benefit from the close proximity to the university.

Recently ATDC expanded its mission by merging with Georgia Tech’s VentureLab and with the Georgia Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Assistance Program. This change has enabled ATDC to greatly extend its reach to serve more technology companies along multiple growth paths and at all stages of development. ATDC has opened its membership to all technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, from those at the earliest conception stage to the well-established, venture-fundable companies.

ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. ATDC currently has three facilities; two at Georgia Tech’s main campus in Atlanta, and one at Georgia Tech’s satellite campus in Savannah.

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Georgia Institute of Technology

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Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Changing the World: Forbes Lists ATDC Among the World’s Top Incubators

 

Forbes Magazine has named Georgia Tech’s science and technology startup accelerator, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), to its new list of the “ten technology incubators that are changing the world.”  ATDC is the only incubator in the Southeast to be included on the Forbes list.

In its brief description of ATDC, Forbes noted that the program has graduated more than 120 companies since 1980 and that companies associated with ATDC have collectively raised more than $1 billion in outside financing.  “The companies are heavy with Georgia Tech alumni,” the magazine noted, “but that’s not a requirement.”

According to Forbes, the United States has more than 300 incubators that host approximately 6,000 companies.  Many of them associated with universities, the incubators provide a broad range of support, from shared laboratory equipment to accounting and secretarial support, the magazine said.

Incubators like the ATDC, Forbes added, “are increasingly drawing intellectual capital from around the world.”  The magazine said it worked with CB Insights, a New York firm that tracks private-company funding trends – including venture capital private equity and government-backed deals – to select 10 “especially crackling innovation hubs.”

Forbes is the third leading U.S business publication to cite ATDC’s record of success in helping Georgia entrepreneurs.  Inc. Magazine and BusinessWeek had earlier included ATDC on their lists of leading incubators.

Part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, the ATDC now has more than 300 companies in its program.  ATDC helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies.  As part of its incubation and acceleration services, ATDC helps Georgia Tech faculty members and researchers form new companies based on intellectual property developed in the Institute’s $500 million-per-year research program.  ATDC also helps companies compete for and win federal grants through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

“Startups play an essential role in creating new jobs and growing the economy,” noted Stephen Fleming, Georgia Tech vice provost and executive director of the Enterprise Innovation Institute.  “We are proud of the many companies that have emerged from ATDC – and those currently in our program that are Georgia’s technology leaders of the future.”

On May 24th, ATDC will celebrate its 30th anniversary at its annual startup showcase and celebration.  That makes the Forbes honor especially timely, Fleming noted.

“As ATDC prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary, this recognition demonstrates that it remains relevant and important to the entrepreneur community in Georgia,” he said.  “As we enjoy this attention, we thank those who have supported ATDC over many years: the Georgia General Assembly, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Georgia Tech administration and all of the volunteers who have shared their time and expertise with companies.  Becoming one of the top programs in the world required long-term investment by many people and organizations.”

Other incubator programs cited in the Forbes list were:

  • The Environmental Business Cluster (San Jose, CA)
  • Houston Technology Center (Houston, TX)
  • The IceHouse (Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (Worcester, MA)
  • Palo Alto Research Center (Palo Alto, CA)
  • The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (Champaign, IL)
  • The Technology Innovation Center (Evanston, IL)
  • University Research Park & MGE Innovation Center at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI)
  • Y Combinator (Mountain View, CA)

Ennis One of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence

Donna Ennis, project director of the MBDA Business Center, Atlanta, Georgia (MBC), was named one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.

Donna Ennis, project director of the MBDA Business Center, Atlanta, Georgia (MBC), has been named one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency and operated by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, MBC helps emerging and existing minority businesses experience significant growth and sustainability and generate long-term economic impact through the creation of jobs and revenue.

Since 1994, the Atlanta Business League has published its annual list of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.” The list include black women in the metro Atlanta community who have reached senior level positions within their professions, are leading entrepreneurs in their industries or have attained the ability to influence large public bodies politically. In addition to professional accomplishments, the “100 Black Women of Influence” have demonstrated their commitment to the citizenry of Metro Atlanta by maintaining significant involvement and participation in community and civic activities.

“Donna Ennis was selected as one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence because of her commitment and dedication to growing minority businesses,” said Leona Barr-Davenport, Atlanta Business League president and CEO. “Very simply put, she cares and is results oriented. Her work speaks for itself!”

Ennis is responsible for the strategic direction, marketing and outreach, and operations of the GMBEC and assists clients with strategic, business and market planning; marketing research and communications; public and private procurement, finance and operations; and business process improvement. She has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, communications, public relations and business development, with emphasis on identifying company needs and matching them to the appropriate resources.

“The Georgia Minority Business Enterprise Center plays a vital role in facilitating the growth of both emerging and established minority businesses in Georgia,” noted Stephen Fleming, vice provost in the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute. “Donna Ennis has been the driving force behind the Center’s success, and I am pleased to see her hard work and dedication recognized in this way.”

Ennis is also a member of the board of directors of the Georgia Resource Capital and the National Center for the Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud and on the board of trustees of Atlanta Unity Church. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Boston University and a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University.

For more information on GMBEC services offered by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, contact Donna Ennis (404-894-2096); E-mail: (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@sinne.annod); Web site: (www.georgiambc.org).

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact:  John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

First Georgia Tech Edison Prize Goes to Startup Company Working to Prevent Pressure Ulcers

Image shows a custom filter on a CMOS camera chip that makes up the new multispectral imager developed to detect early stages of pressure ulcers.

A Georgia Tech startup company being formed to commercialize a new device that could help prevent pressure ulcers in hospital and nursing home patients has won the first Georgia Tech Edison Prize. The $15,000 prize will help launch the new company, which will be known as Multispectral Imagers.

Treatment of pressure ulcers costs an estimated $8 billion each year in the United States alone, but the painful skin injury can be prevented if detected early. The device, a hand-held multispectral imaging system that provides data in real-time, could be used by health care professionals to detect signs of pressure ulcers before they can be seen with conventional visual screening techniques — especially on patients with darker skin.

“We have developed a novel multispectral imager that can be integrated onto a chip,” said Fengtao Wang, a Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate student who explained the company’s plan to a judging panel. “We can deliver a compact, real-time and low-cost multispectral imager to detect erythema at an early stage.”

The device would be marketed to clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and other facilities that treat patients whose mobility problems can result in development of pressure ulcers. In addition to the medical applications, Wang said the device may also have military, agricultural, manufacturing and environmental uses.

In addition to Wang, the company team includes Ali Adibi and Fuhan Liu in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Linghua Kong and Stephen Sprigle of the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) in the Georgia Tech College of Architecture. Adibi and Sprigle are both professors; Kong is a senior faculty engineer and Liu is research engineer.

The Georgia Tech Edison Prize was established to encourage formation of startup companies based on technology developed at Georgia Tech, and was made possible by a multi-year grant from the Charles A. Edison Fund, named for the inventor’s son. Awarding of the first Georgia Tech Edison Prize was part of the Georgia Tech Graduate Research and Innovation Conference held February 8.

“Thomas Edison often receives credit for inventing the electric light bulb, but his real accomplishment was in making that device — along with the phonograph and motion picture camera — commercially successful to create new companies and new industries,” said Stephen Fleming, Georgia Tech’s vice provost for economic development and technology ventures. “Through the Edison Prize, we want to advance this kind of company-producing technology commercialization at Georgia Tech.”

The Georgia Tech Edison Fund, which is managed by Fleming, also provides seed funding to startup companies that have a close association with Georgia Tech.

“The judges for the first Georgia Tech Edison Prize heard a number of excellent presentations,” Fleming explained. “The judges selected Fengtao Wang because he had successfully identified an un-served market for the product and had begun approaching potential partners to commercialize the technology. Innovation is ultimately about turning knowledge into money.”

Approximately 100 entries were received for the prize competition from among the 300 graduate students who submitted posters to the Graduate Research and Innovation Conference. Those entries were evaluated by a committee of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and Georgia Tech faculty to create a list of 11 finalists. Those finalists were each invited to make presentations to a judging committee, which selected the winner announced at a reception on the evening of February 8.

The judging committee included:

* Jamie Bardin, former CEO of EZ-Prints
* Nelson Chu, general partner of Kinetic Ventures
* Merrick Furst, distinguished professor in the Georgia Tech College of Computing
* Gary Lee, former CEO of Flexlight Systems
* Keith McGreggor, manager of technology evaluation in the ATDC
* Nina Sawczuk, assistant director for biosciences in the ATDC
* Jim Stratigos, president of Broadband Strategies

About the Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail: (ude.hcetagnull@nootj).

Writer: John Toon

Growing the Southeast’s First Photovoltaics Firm

John W. Baumstark (left), CEO of Suniva, the Southeast’s first photovoltaics company, poses with Ajeet Rohatgi, founder, in the company’s manufacturing facility in Norcross. Based on technology developed at Georgia Tech, the company received assistance from the Enterprise Innovation Institute.

Commercializing Multi-electrode Arrays

CEO Tom O’Brien (left) and Chief Technical Officer James Ross show the electronic devices and analysis software developed by Axion Biosystems. The company received assistance from the Enterprise Innovation Institute and the Georgia Research Alliance VentureLab Program.

The “S” Behind SBIR

SBIR stands for Small Business Innovation Research, so the “S”= “Small”, but what really is “small”? The SBA (Small Business Administration) defines a company as “small” if they have less than 500 employees, so technically, a company is qualified for SBIR if they have at least one employee or as many as 499 employees. Does that… more ?

Harold Shlevin, Biosciences Industry Executive, Joins ATDC as a Manager and Catalyst

Harold Shlevin

Harold H. Shlevin, Ph.D., a 30-year biosciences-industry executive and researcher, has joined Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) as manager of ATDC-Biosciences. He will serve as a startup catalyst advising new bioscience companies within the ATDC.

In his new ATDC position, Shlevin will evaluate and guide new and emerging bioscience enterprises that are based on Georgia Tech research innovations as well as others across Georgia. He will work with Nina Sawczuk, a veteran biosciences entrepreneur who is now ATDC’s assistant director for biosciences, responsible for supporting the commercialization of bioscience innovation throughout the state.

“There is, and will continue to be, a willingness among venture capitalists and others to invest in innovation that helps people live healthier lives,” Shlevin said. “Georgia Tech is well-positioned to supply that innovation, because of the high quality and diversity of multi-disciplinary science here, and because there is a willingness among the faculty to see their science realized in some type of application.”

From 1998-2006, Shlevin held positions of increasing responsibility at Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. These posts included global senior vice president of Solvay Pharmaceuticals-SA, president and CEO of Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc., and senior vice president of business development and scientific affairs.

Shlevin’s combination of academic and business experience offers a strong background for his work as an ATDC biosciences manager and catalyst, said Stephen Fleming, vice provost at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, ATDC’s parent organization.

“Harold’s decision to join ATDC is good news for Georgia Tech and Georgia,” Fleming said. “I’m confident he will help us expand Georgia’s bioscience industry, which plays a highly important economic role in the state.”

Shlevin earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Boston University and a master’s and a doctorate in physiology from University of Rochester Medical School. His doctoral research focused on electrophysiology and biophysics of excitable cells.

He holds a post-doctoral certificate in pharmacology and physiology from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. He also served as an assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology at Mayo Medical School and the University of Minnesota.

Shlevin has an extensive list of both academic and business publications. He holds several global patents covering a variety of medical devices, drugs and electromechanical products, and has six patents pending.

He has been active in the community, serving on the board of advisers of Morehouse School of Medicine and the psychiatry department of Emory University School of Medicine. He has been an adviser and director of several healthcare-related software companies and a nanotechnology-oriented startup company focused on oncology. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Bio organization and is vice chair of its executive committee. He is also on the board of directors of Cardiome Pharma Corp.

Shlevin believes Georgia is well positioned to expand its already extensive list of bioscience companies. He praised Georgia Tech’s close connections with Emory University and its School of Medicine. Georgia Tech’s collaboration with Emory has produced the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, which is ranked among the nation’s top biomedical engineering schools.

“The ability to reach out to people who are practicing clinical medicine and receive their input is a huge benefit,” he said. “It is those people who can best help define the potential application of a given technology, and that in turn reduces market risk and supports the funding of ventures based on that technology.”

ATDC is a startup accelerator that helps Georgia technology entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies. Founded in 1980, ATDC has helped create millions of dollars in tax revenues by graduating more than 120 companies, which together have raised more than a billion dollars in outside financing.

Recently ATDC expanded its mission by merging with Georgia Tech’s VentureLab and with the Georgia SBIR Assistance Program. The change enables ATDC to greatly extend its reach to serve more technology companies along multiple growth paths and at all stages of development. ATDC has opened its membership to all technology entrepreneurs in Georgia, from those at the earliest conception stage to the well-established, venture-fundable companies.

ATDC is part of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) at Georgia Tech, which helps Georgia enterprises improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. ATDC currently has three facilities; two at Georgia Tech’s main campus in Atlanta, and one at Georgia Tech’s satellite campus in Savannah.

Research News & Publications Office
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail: (ude.hcetagnull@nootj).

Writer: Rick Robinson

HVAC and Plumbing Company Grows with Georgia Tech Assistance

When Sadat Nichols and Al Shepherd started ARS Mechanical, an HVAC and plumbing service provider, they knew it would be imperative to tap into outside resources. In 2005, Nichols became familiar with the Georgia Statewide Minority Business Enterprise Center (GMBEC), funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency and operated by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

GMBEC provides business and technical assistance that helps emerging and existing minority business enterprises (MBEs) experience significant growth and sustainability, and have long-term economic impact through the creation of jobs and revenue. Part of a national network of centers established to increase the number of MBEs and strengthen existing ones, GMBEC provides services in business assessment, access to capital and finance management, access to markets, strategic business consulting and business process improvement.

“Especially at the beginning, we needed their assistance,” said Nichols, president of ARS. “They’ve been really instrumental in a lot of the growth that we’ve established.”

Donna Ennis, GMBEC project director, has assisted ARS Mechanical with a number of projects, including helping the company secure bonding, lines of credit and other financing; providing proposal writing assistance; and helping the company implement ISO 9001:2008, a quality management system. Ennis also nominated ARS Mechanical for the 2007 Regional Construction Firm of the Year Award, given by the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency; the company beat out eight other firms in the Southeast.

Most recently, Ennis assisted Nichols and Shepherd with writing a proposal that landed ARS Mechanical a contract with Fort Gordon to implement an innovative geothermal heat pump project, leading to potential long-term energy savings. The $1.7 million project will convert 11 buildings, totaling 32,500 square feet, from traditional HVAC systems to deep-well geothermal heat pump systems, which use the thermal properties of the Earth to provide heating and cooling. According to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, energy bills for those structures could decrease by as much as 40 percent.

ARS Mechanical, an African-American owned heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and mechanical services firm, is headquartered in Conyers, Ga., with 28 employees. The company specializes in commercial and industrial heating, ventilation and air conditioning, mechanical and plumbing, and since its establishment in 2002, has doubled its business annually.

“Successful MBEs must be able to form strategic alliances as well as secure adequate resources for growth, and that is where I believe GMBEC can be of assistance,” Ennis said. “The management team at ARS Mechanical has fully utilized our services and is planning for future growth in new technologies.”

GMBEC celebrated its sixth year at Georgia Tech in 2009, and over that time it helped clients secure more than $195 million in procurement contracts, financing, and sales; assisted minority companies with creating more than 1,450 jobs; and provided one-on-one technical assistance to some 400 firms and advice, guidance, and resources to thousands of others. The program received the 2006 Institution Award from the Greater Atlanta Economic Alliance and was recognized by its federal sponsor as an outstanding-performance center for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

GMBEC works with existing high-impact firms in manufacturing, construction, warehousing, transportation, technology and professional services. Assistance ranges from identification of funding sources to process and infrastructure improvement to securing new business. To qualify for GMBEC assistance, companies must have 51 percent minority ownership and minimum annual revenues of $500,000.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright