Nanotech startups demo new products to VCs

April 28, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

Mountain View, CA — Several nanotechnology startups demonstrated new products to venture capitalists and investors at the first nanoSIG Nano Ventures Funding & Partnering Conference. Some claimed they’ll begin to generate revenues in the near term (unlike most nanotechnology ventures).

Apex Nanotechnologies is going after the molecular modeling market or CAMD (computer-aided molecular design) with a “major breakthrough in molecular modeling software,” said CEO Ramez Naam. Apex uses an expert system to allow researchers without special training to use CAMD. It “speaks to chemists in their own terms and the system determines the algorithms.”

NanoSpire, Inc., currently seeking their A round of funding, is using cavitation to provide the “first machine tool capable of high-speed fabrication of three-dimensional nanostructures with feature sizes measured in nanometers,” said CEO Mark LeClair. Cavitation (used by Shrimp to kill their prey) occurs when high energy bubbles in water collapse, forming a supersonic microjet of water. “The microjet comes out at up to mach 4 and is capable of drilling a hole through a diamond,” said LeClair. The company plans to release a desktop machine tool capable of delivering pulses with spot sizes in the 50 to 100 nm range, powered from a standard wall socket.

AngstroVision, Inc CEO Scott Mize presented a new nano-imaging technology that creates 3-D video images of nanoscale objects. Unlike other imaging technologies, “AngstroVision is not destructive to the sample,” said Mize. The technology also captures images in video in real time with no need for a special temperature-controlled environment or vacuum. Their first product will be a desktop version, but they intend to create a MEMS-sized version for use in nano-manufacturing process control, among many other applications.

Also products presented were Quantum Polymer Technologies’ system for creating electrically conducting self-assembling polymer nanowires; Genefluidics’ electrochemical DNA/RNA protein and small molecule analytical devices; and Nanocrystal Imaging Corporation’s digital x-ray imaging system, providing higher resolution than film at a lower x-ray exposure level.

nanoSIG is a “non-profit organization building a resource base dedicated to commercializing nanotechnology,” according to a company statement.

- Nathen Fox