INVO Newsletter
Fall/Winter 2018-19   
From Our Executive Director
Throughout FY18, INVO doubled down on expanding our network through partnerships that expose our entrepreneurs to new ideas, people, and resources, confident that a deeper, more diverse network of partners fuels the entrepreneurial journey.  To that end, we entered a partnership with Deerfield Management to launch Lakeside Discovery, expanded our network locally and nationally through our NEXT Event at Northwestern San Francisco and led faculty to meet Boston investors, and joined 19 top universities as a core partner of Osage University Partners (OUP).

As we've moved into FY19, that singular mission -- to bring game-changing innovations into the public marketplace -- continues to unite us and motivate us.  We will continue to build our networks and strengthen the fabric of the Northwestern ecosystem with a resolute and determined focus.
Alicia L öffler
Associate Provost for Innovation and New Ventures
Associate Vice President for Research
Executive Director, INVO 
National Recognition of
Our Inventors  
Prof. Elizabeth McNally (Feinberg) and Prof. Samuel Stupp (McCormick) were named to the National Academy of Inventors. Read More.  They join a number of other Northwestern faculty from previous years:
Walter Herbst, Mark Hersam & Teresa Woodruff
2016: Thomas Meade, Joseph Moskal
2015: Tobin Marks, Antonio Facchetti
2014: Ed Colgate, Michael Peshkin & Richard Silverman
2013: Chad Mirkin & John Rogers
2012: James Conley  
Recognition of Northwestern Innovation in the Media   

At the Jan 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, L'Oreal revealed a test version of My Skin Track pH,  a wearable device that helps people track the acid levels of their skin as part of their skincare regimen. My Skin Track pH captures small amounts of sweat from skin pores to give an accurate acidity reading on a dedicated mobile app within 15 minutes. It received the CES 2019 Innovation Award as the "BEST OF INNOVATION" in the wearable technology products category.  The Verge 
Gatorade ad campaign featured Serena Williams wearing new mic
rofluidics sensor technology developed by Prof. John Rogers (McC) described in Fast Company articleFast Company |
New technology out of Prof. John Rogers'  (McC) lab allows swimmers to track their sweat in an underwater skin sensor. Wired | Science Advances   

A new generation of devices is being developed to capture wearer's pH, sweat rate and level of metabolites like chloride, glucose and lactate, signaling cystic fibrosis, diabetes or lack of oxygen.
Prof. Nina Kraus' (Communications) new concussion testing uses hearing to reveal brain trauma. WTTW

The zinc spark is an inorganic signature of human egg activation upon fertilization.  The zinc spark research out of Prof. Teresa Woodruff's laboratory (Feinberg) inspired best-selling author Jody Picoult's A Spark of LightNature | Medium  
Prof John Rogers (McC, left) on center stage at WSJ Tech Health in SF. WSJ volunteer ( center) tests startup Epicore Biosystem's sweat sensor technology during a workout. 
Event Highlights  

Illinois Ignite 2018
September 27, 2018
Big10 Conference Center, Rosemont
Illinois Ignite was an inaugural event showcasing technologies and startups emerging from prominent research universities in Illinois, including Northwestern, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, University of Chicago, University of Illinois-Chicago, and IIT. The showcase featured over 35 innovators and entrepreneurs in oncology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, security, robotics, and advanced materials and networking opportunities with technology-based startups and attracted over 200 attendees.

Northwestern NEXT
January 7, 2019
Northwestern San Francisco
On January 7, 2019, INVO joined CS + X at Northwestern in organizing its 2nd annual Northwestern NEXT Reception held at Northwestern San Francisco. This year's event focused on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: The Next Generation in Healthcare. Over 220 attendees joined featured speakers, Profs. Kris Hammond, John Rogers and Patrick McCarthy, in a discussion on AI, CV disease and bio-integrated electronics, focusing on advances that are revolutionizing prevention, diagnosis and treatment in healthcare.
Upcoming Events 

INVO Seminar | Tactical Steps to Spinning a Company out of the University
February 20, 2019 REGISTER
For those considering a startup, join a discussion on strategies for forming and financing a company built on technology licensed from a univeristy.

INVO Seminar | Startups Interested in Licensing Northwestern Technologies
February 18, 2019 REGISTER
February 25, 2019  REGISTER  
For those considering a startup based on Northwestern technology, join a discussion on the life cycle, and the nuts and bolts of licensing intellectual property from the University . Topics will include options vs licenses, different types of licenses, and definition and purpose of various license terms.

Biotechnology Day 2019 
March 15, 2019
Northwestern's Master of Biotechnology Program is hosting this event which aims to inspire and inform a broad community of students, scientists and science enthusiasts. Alicia L öffler, INVO's Executive Director, will give the Keynote Lecture.  REGISTER HERE  

CBC Short Course | Preclinical Safety Assessment and Mitigation Strategies in Drug Discovery
April 9-10, 2019 
MATTER, Merchandise Mart, Chicago
The course describes proactive approaches that can help scientists avoid many safety issues and deliver safe small molecule drug strategies achieved through medicinal chemistry.  Tuition subsidies are available for Northwestern faculty. 
INVO Newsletter Archives 

INVO newsletters capture key innovation and entrepreneurial activities at Northwestern. Featured news includes: faculty startup announcements, Northwestern University patenting and licensing activities, funding opportunities for inventors and entrepreneurs, and INVO events and programming focused on commercialization and entrepreneurship.

The INVO newsletter reaches the Northwestern University community, prospective licensees, investors, and others interested in groundbreaking research with commercialization potential. Access previous newsletter in our archives here.
INVO & Social Media 

Follow us on Twitter ( @INVOatNU ) 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 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
Braidy Industries acquired NanoAl (Profs. David Dunand and David Seidman, McC), a Northwestern startup with nanocrystalline strengthening technology applied to sheet aluminum.  The science at NanoAl focuses on developing stronger aluminum alloys through controlling key structural features at the nanoscale.  Braidy believes the technology offers a competitive edge within the automotive and aeospace OEM marketplace.

Epicore Biosystems has developed microfluidic systems that can harvest and analyze components in sweat, a platform technology invented by Prof. John Rogers (McCormick). Epicore announced a partnership with LEO Science & Tech Hub to explore wearable skin sensors to improve dermatologic treatment regimens. Their collaborative work focuses on developing new classes of wearable metabolic sensors that enable remote tracking of skin disease biomarkers and help accelerate interventions once patients leave the hospital. Read More

L'Oreal and Prof. John Rogers (McCormick) announced a thumbnail-sized UV sensor at the January 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Within one year, La Roche-Posay, L'Oreal's subsidiary, released My Skin Track UV at Apple stores. It is the first battery-free wearable tech device to measure UV exposure on a daily basis. Read More. 
Aptinyx, Prof. Joseph Moskal's (McCormick) clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of novel, proprietary, synthetic small molecules for the treatment of brain and nervous system disorders.  The NYX-2925 Phase II clinical trial for diabetic nerve pain was not met with success as it did not lessen pain as expected. However, President and CEO Norbert Riedel remains optimistic as the study provided "other improvements on multiple measures, differential activity across dose levels and a very favorable safety profile." NYX-2925 Phase II trials for fibromyalgia continues, and NYX-783 is in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. and Parkinson's disease. 
Prof. Caroline LePoole, (Feinberg) and CEO of her startup, Temprian Therapeutics, Kettil Cedercreutz, are among 12 finalists to present at the invitation-only symposium , Science2Startup 2019 , featuring innovative therapeutic technologies.  Temprian is developing  a topical therapeutic that reverses depigmentation caused by vitiligo.  S2S is presented by Atlas Venture, F-Prime Capital and SV Health Investors. 

(Prof. Ed Colgate and Michael Peshkin, McC): Nominated for Chicago Inno's
2018 Coolest Companies

4C Insights (Alok Choudhary, McC), Narrative Science (Prof. Kris Hammond and Larry Birnbaum, McC):  Finalists at the 19th Annual CityLIGHTS Awards

PanaceaNano (Prof. Fraser Stoddart, Weinberg): Recipient of the Chicago Innovation Award for 2018 for its innovation in the field of organic functional nano systems.

Crain's Business named two Northwestern startups as the top two most innovative companies in Chicago:
  • #1 Narrative Science (Profs. Kris Hammond and Larry Birnbaum (McCormick))
  • #2 Aptinyx (Prof Joseph Moskal (McCormick))
NUMiX Materials: Named to Chicago Inno's li st of 19 Startups to Watch in 2019

mHUB and DMDII 2018 Fourth Revolution Awards Finalists:
Dimension Inx (Prof. Ramille Shah (McC)) and Tanvas (Profs Michael Peshkin & Ed Colgate (McC))
Dimension Inx (Prof. Ramille Shah (McC)) and CDJ Technologies (Prof. Chad Mirkin (Weinberg))
Dimension Inx (Prof. Ramille Shah (McC))
The Garage
Northwestern Startup Fundraising

(Prof. Joseph Moskal, McC) raised $70M in IPO. Aptinyx develops pain medications.  Prof. Moskal sold his previous company, Naurex, to Allergan for $560M.  Naurex developed therapeutics for depression.

NuMat Technologies
was awarded $9M to bring next-generation materials to the modern warfighter with a new contract vehicle from U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command Chemical and Biological Center (RDECOM C&B Center).  Read More   

NanoGraf Technologies, formerly SiNode Systems, raised a total of $5.5M from JNC
Corporation, a Tokyo-based specialty chemical manufacturer and $1M from Hyde Park Angels.   

Congratulations to Prof Will Dichtel (Weinberg) and his startup Cyclopure for receiving a $725K Phase II SBIR Grant.

Alumni Startup Updates
Alexei Mlodinow, MBA, MD (Feinberg and Kellogg alum), co-founder of Dr. John Kim's (Feinberg) startup, Surgical Innovation Associates is recognized in the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 List. See List

selected as one of 10 US laureates for the YEi Start Program in France.

NUcurrent was a finalist  at the 19th Annual CityLIGHTS Awards.

Congratulations to The Garage entrepreneurs for making the Inno 25Under25 list:
Zachary Novicoff
(FanHome); Lucas Philips (BrewBike);
Kristen Sanders (People6); Akshat Thirani (Amper Technologies); and Ben Weiss (Zcruit)

2018 Fourth Revolution Awards (mHUB and DMDII) 
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR: NUcurrent and Amper Technologies   (Finalists)
RISING STAR: Luna Light   (Winner)

FourKites, founded by Matt Elenjickal (McCormick and Kellogg alum), offers predictive visibility of the global supply chain.  FourKites announced they raised $50 M in new funding, raising a total of $100.5 million since it launched in 2014. Wall Street Journal article
INVO Numbers
Upcoming RFP 
*NEW* Catalyst Awards 
A new opportunity to foster research collaboration among
Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering faculty and
Northwestern Medicine physicians.

DEADLINE:  March 25, 2019 
AREAS OF INTEREST: Healthcare Research

Eligible collaborative teams may apply for a $55,000 seed grant
to pursue new healthcare research.
To be eligible, teams must include:
  • A full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty member with at least a 25% appointment in McCormick
  • An employed physician of Northwestern Medical Group, Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group, Marianjoy Medical Group or Centegra Physician Care, with at least 25% of time spent clinically
Questions for Northwestern Medicine can be directed to
Questions for McCormick School of Engineering can be directed to Richard Lueptow, Senior Associate Dean at McCormick, at 
INVO Welcomes New Team Members 
Iwona Maciagiewicz, Invention Manager   Iwona joined INVO in January 2019. She is an organic chemist, with a unique combination of knowledge in Research and Development, cGMP, technology transfer and startup environments. Her main focus at INVO will be evaluations of research discoveries and patent and licensing process management in the areas of therapeutics, drug delivery and organic chemistry.

Prior to joining INVO, Iwona was Senior Scientist at Ohmx Corporation, a clinical diagnostic company with novel point-of-care technology. Prior to Ohmx, she was a Principal Scientist at NantPharma and a Research Scientist at Marina Biotech (now Adhera Therapeutics). She also completed two postdoctoral appointments, at Ohio University and UIC. She is a co-founder of a biotech startup company focused on type 2 diabetes.

Iwona earned her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Polish Academy of Sciences, and M.Sc. in chemistry from University of Lodz, Poland. She is an active member of Women in Bio, where she serves as Chair of the Programming Committee for the Chicago Chapter.
Kathleen Butcher, Manager, Post Licensing   
Katie joined INVO in October 2018 serving as the primary point of contact for INVO licensees with respect to invoicing, expense reimbursement and non-financial license term compliance.

Katie spent over a decade at Viacom Media Networks working in contract management, post-contract rights analysis and licensing. She has also managed licensed accounts, account research and accounts receivable collection for Broadcast Music, Inc. Katie holds a BA from Belmont University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  
Other INVO News... 
A new gift from Steve Elms '92 MBA and his wife, Katherine Elms, will help launch the Propel Program, an initiative to foster diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship at the University. Led by Melissa Kaufman, executive director at The Garage, and Hayes Ferguson, Associate Director and former EIR at The Garage, the Propel Program will support networking, mentorship, and immersive learning experiences in the invention-to-innovation-to-entrepreneurship lifecyle.  Steve Elms is a member of the INVO Advisory Board. 
INVOForward, a 4-week program designed to help potential Northwestern entrepreneurs with the customer discovery process, welcomed its third cohort in January 2019.  Six teams from Feinberg and McCormick went through the customer discovery process with their therapeutic products by interviewing stakeholders, researching reimbursement and regulatory strategies, understanding the landscape of intellectual property and competition, and presenting final investment pitches before an investor panel. Teams represented research labs of Profs. Caroline Le Poole (Feinberg), Milan Mrksich (McCormick), Sarki Abdulkadir (Feinberg), Peter Penzes (Feinberg), Peng Ji (Feinberg) and Vasil Galat (Lurie). For more information this program, visit INVOForward
INVO Practicum welcomed its January 2019 cohort. The interns include:
  • Ibrahim Alqemlas (McC Master in Biotech, Prof. Arthur Felse lab)
  • Will Bothfeld, PhD (McC Post-Doc, Prof. Keith Tyo lab)
  • Nikita Divekar (Weinberg PhD candidate, Prof. Sadie Wignall lab)
  • Karl Putz, PhD (McC Research Assistant Professor, Prof. Mark Hersam lab)
  • Yi Shi, PhD (Weinberg Post-Doc, Prof. Sir Fraser Stoddart lab)
  • Kyle Pikula (Pritzker MSL candidate)
The Practicum is an INVO internship that offers graduate students, post-docs and research professors the opportunity to step outside the lab and gain experience in intellectual property and market analysis of technologies.  Past interns have stayed in academic research or have transitioned into positions in technology transfer, IP law, and consulting firms.  If you're interested in applying to a future cohort, visit this link. Cohorts begin semi-annually in January and July. 
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.