Fall 2014

NU Innovation Recognition in the Media


Northwestern University was ranked 22nd out of the top 100 universities to be granted US patents in 2013 with 78 utility patents by the National Academy of Inventors.

Kellogg School of Management was ranked 5th in the world for Top MBA Programs for VC-Based Entrepreneurs by


Northwestern University was named in Forbes' 30 most entrepreneurial universities list.



SwipeSense Founders
Mert Iseri and Yuri Malina
make the Chicago Business "Twenty in their 20's" list.


Chicago Inno named
EarMachine as one of the most exciting music tech startups in Chicago. 
Upcoming Events 
Chicago HealthTECH Summit
October 23, 2014 5:30-9pm 
The second annual Chicago HealthTECH summit, hosted by Northwestern University and Insight Product Developmentwill feature Chicago's first health tech crowdfunding competition for medical device and health IT startups.  Applications for the crowdfunding competition have closed. Tickets for the summit, which includes an Innovation Showcase, the crowd funding competition results, and networking opportunities, are still available from: 
INVO welcomes
New Staff
Liuchun Yang, JD, PhD joined INVO's team in August as an Intellectual Property Associate. Her practice is devoted to intellectual property matters, including patent prosecution, patent portfolio management, negotiation and drafting of agreements, and legal opinions on patentability, validity, and infringement. She focuses in the areas of biotechnology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and materials. Prior to INVO, Liuchun worked at an IP law firm for over 6 years. She also worked at two research companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology areas.

Liuchun earned her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School and is admitted to the Illinois State Bar. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology.

INVO & Social Media

Follow us on Twitter (@NUatINVO) where we tweet news related 
to INVO, Northwestern technologies and startups, and local entrepreneurial activities.

Connect with INVO through our group on LinkedIn. INVO will utilize this new group to highlight news on Northwestern technologies that are either available for licensing or being commercialized by a startup.
Check out our new Innovation and New Ventures @Northwestern channel on YouTube for direct access to our videos.
Faculty Startup Milestones
Cour Pharmaceuticals, an NU Startup based on Prof. Stephen Miller and Prof. Lonnie Shea's immune modifying nanoparticle platform, elected Dr. Catherine J. Mackey as Chairman of the Board of Directors.  It recently entered into partnerships with two major pharmaceutical companies.

SiNode Systems, an NU startup based on Prof. Harold Kung's (McC) battery technology had a successful summer. It received $1M of SBIR Funding to develop economic and efficient batteries with twice the energy density of standard batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). In August, SiNode Systems joined forces with AZ Electronic Materials with the goal of developing graphene-based materials for lithium-ion batteries. To advance these commercialization efforts with AZ, SiNode is expanding its Chicago-based state-of-the-art R&D and pilot manufacturing facility. It is looking forward to competing as a finalist in the SXSW Eco Startup Showcase in October.

AuraSense Therapeutics is an NU startup based upon Prof. Chad Mirkin (Weinberg) and Dr. Shad Thaxton's (Feinberg) Spherical Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology, welcomed David Snyder as CFO in July. This appointment follows completion of $13.6M Series C Equity Investment, which includes backers such as Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt, Bill Gates, and Aon PLC's founder Patrick Ryan.


Nanosphere, an NU startup based on Prof. Chad Mirkin (Weinberg) and the late Prof. Robert Letsinger's Verigene´┐Ż platform technology, signed a molecular supply agreement with Health Trust. The bacterial portion of the Verigene´┐Ż enteric pathogens test was given FDA clearance in June.  



 Zzyzx Polymers, an NU startup based on Prof. John Torkelson's (McC) technology, received $730,000 SBIR Phase II funding towards improving plastics recycling.


Naurex, an NU startup based on Prof. Joseph Moskal's CNS drug discovery platform, had two lead anti-depressant programs successfully complete Phase 2 studies and can boast an additional $25M in funding from existing shareholders.

Nanocytomics, an NU startup based on Prof. Vadim Backman's partial wave spectroscopy technology, recently appointed John W. Hart as president. 
Innoblative Designs, an NU startup developing Prof. David Mahvi's (Feinberg) radiofrequency ablation probe for the treatment of breast cancer continued its winning streak with wins in: the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition at University of Texas; Best Medical Product at the Stanford BASES Social E-Challenge; Life Sciences & Medical Innovation Track at the NU Venture Challenge; BMEIdea Award at the Medical Design Excellence awards; and 2nd prize overall at the NU Venture Challenge. 
New INVO Agreements

INVO executed
        6 licensing agreements & options


The licensees and primary faculty inventors are listed below:


 Panther Biotechnology, Inc.: Sui Huang (Feinberg)

  Innoblative Designs Inc.: David Mahvi (Feinberg)

Intellidrain: Ankit Bharat (Feinberg)

KeraFAST Inc: Vijay Sarthy (Feinberg)

Other INVO News... 



Allan Nader, an Invention Manager at INVO, was awarded the 2014 Office of Research's STAR (Staff Team Award Recognition) Leadership Award.


This summer we welcomed eight graduate students and one undergraduate from McCormick, Kellogg, Law and Feinberg on the I2C Fellowship. For eight weeks they worked in collaboration with INVO Invention Managers on different aspects of commercializing NU technologies, from assessing commercial viability to reaching out directly to potential commercialization partners. The I2C Fellows helped progress over 20 projects here at INVO. The students went on field trips to Healthbox, a health accelerator and Square Planet, a provider of presentation and strategy coaching. The I2C Fellowship culminated with each fellow delivering excellent pitch presentations on their projects, to the University Provost, the Dean's from the participating schools, and the inventors.



Sonia Kim, who oversees the I2C Fellows is also taking over the CD2 Innovation Fellows Program from Maryam Saleh, who has moved onto a position with Matter. The CD2 Fellowship is a year long fellowship for doctors and engineers to identify clinical needs, for which they develop a medical device and devise a commercialization strategy. They are supported by McCormick School of Engineering, Feinberg School of Medicine and several private donors.  The 2014 Fellows started in August. Applications for the 2015 CD2 Fellowship are now being accepted. For more information visit  
INVO is currently in the process of updating the invention pipelines on the website. The new pipelines are interactive and link to Flintbox which is the public database of NU inventions. Follow the links to visit the recently updated Medical Devices and Drug Discovery pipelines. 
About Us

The Innovation and New Ventures Office inspires and nurtures a culture of innovation, bridging Northwestern research with its practical use for public benefit.

For more information, visit INVO or contact  
Sonia Kim.  Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.


1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 504
Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois 60201