INVO Newsletter
Spring/Summer 2018  
From Our Executive Director
On May 31, Northwestern launched the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Ecosystem site. This site is a consolidated, user-friendly digital hub that brings together all the people, programs and places where innovation and entrepreneurship intersect at the University.  It also serves as a unified platform to display Northwestern's culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Site visitors can better understand the breadth, depth and commitment to I&E, and it more accurately represents Northwestern's footprint in this space while enhancing the University's reputation overall. 
This site resulted from a collaborative effort spearheaded by INVO and Global Marketing and Communications and included ongoing input from workgroup members across the University including: WCAS, FSM, McC, Pritzker, Kellogg, The Garage, Student Affairs, OR, and Alumni Relations and Development.   
Alicia Löffler 
INVO Executive Director
Associate Provost for Innovation and New Ventures
A New Partnership to Translate Northwestern Technologies 
On May 31, Northwestern and Deerfield Management announced the creation of  Lakeside Discovery, a new collaboration to accelerate the translation of transformative biomedical technologies. Deerfield, an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy, will provide up to $65MM of funding and its commercialization expertise to advance promising Northwestern technologies.  Lakeside Discovery celebrated a successful launch on June 15 with over 180 registrations from the Northwestern community.  Press Release.  
Northwestern Becomes Core Partner of Osage 
Formerly an Associate Partner, Northwestern joined 18 of its peer institutions as a Core Partner at Osage University Partners (OUP). OUP invests across all sectors, including Information Technology, Energy, Materials, and Life Science.  At the core partnership level, Northwestern increases its access to Osage programs and networks which provide significant support to match promising Northwestern technologies and startups to potential investors, entrepreneurs and strategic partners as well as to launch and support Northwestern start-ups. Learn more about OUP
National Recognition of the University & Our Faculty Inventors  
Northwestern University was ranked #14 in the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted US Patents in 2017 by the National Academy of Inventors and Intellectual Property Owners Association. See Ranking here. 
Chemistry Prof. Will Dichtel was named 2018 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Prof Dichtel co-founded the startup, CycloPure, which is commercializing porous polymers that can eliminate pollutants for water treatment facilities and other industrial applications.  These polymers have high surface areas that rapidly absorb and remove pollutants from water.  More info.  
Recognition of Northwestern Innovation in the Media   
Prof. John Rogers (McCormick) is working with a clinical team to use his sensors that is paired with advanced analytics to help stroke patients. Smithsonian | BBC    
Prof. Jiaxing Huang (McCormick) developed a non-toxic graphene-based hair dye that has anti-static properties. Cell | Smithsonian | The Verge | NYTimes 
Upcoming Events 

INVO Pop-Up Office Hours    
Tuesdays, June 2018   7:30am-noon
Gray Seminar Room, Lurie Building, Chicago 
Invention Managers from INVO will be available to discuss invention disclosures, the patent process and questions regarding commercialization.
Ignite Illinois
September 27, 2018
Big10 Conference Center, Rosemont
Illinois Ignite is an inaugural event showcasing technologies and start-ups emerging from prominent research universities in Illinois, including Northwestern University, University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, University of IL at Chicago, University of Chicago and IIT. Hear from innovators and entrepreneurs in oncology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, security, robotics, and advanced materials. Ignite will feature presentations on breakthrough research and innovations from more than 35 faculty and networking opportunities with technology-based start-ups.  REGISTER HERE  
INVO Newsletter Archives 

INVO newsletters capture key innovation and entrepreneurial activities at Northwestern. Featured news include: 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.

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.
Faculty Startup Milestones
Formed by Prof. Chad Mirkin (Weinberg, Chemistry), Exicure began trading on United States OTCQB under the symbol " XCUR" on May 23, 2018.  Read more.

Epicore Biosystems and ORA Graphene Audio earned two out of the five gold prizes in 2018 Mobile World Scholar Challenge. Epicore has developed microfluidic systems that can harvest and analyze components in sweat.  The platform technology was invented by Prof. John Rogers (McCormick, Materials Eng). ORA Graphene Audio has developed superior sound quality based on a manufacturing process invented by Prof. SonBinh Nguyen (Weinberg, Chemistry). More info

L'Oreal and Prof. John Rogers (McCormick) built thumbnail-sized UV sensor revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show 2018 gaining accolades from multiple media sources. CNET | Time | USA Today | Forbes | Design Week | Engadget | Video by Gadget News & Review

  QuesTek Innovations, a company originally formed by Prof. Greg Olson (McCormick, Materials Eng) in 1999, has designed carburizable steel that can be 3D printed and is being evaluated for aerospace gears by 3D Atlas using Sunata software. More info.
Prof. John Rogers (McCormick) teams with Gatorade, Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team, US Air Force and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to advance sweat analysis technologies | Read more | Video on Technology by 

Two Northwestern professors, Prof. Jennifer Wu (Feinberg) and Prof. Beth McNally (Feinberg), were among the 12 finalists to present at the invitation-only symposium, Science2Startup 2018, featuring innovative therapeutic technologies.  S2S is presented by Atlas Venture, F-Prime Capital and SV Health Investors. 
Actuate Therapeutics received FDA
acceptance of their IND application for anti-cancer agent 9-ING-41 which gives them clearance to proceed with clinical studies.  
Northwestern Startup Fundraising

Aptinyx raised $70MM Series B for multidrug CNS trial. Read more.

Lilac Solutions closed $800k seed round. Read more.

Northwestern companies received a total of over $6.9MM in 2017 SBIR Grant Funding. Recipients include:
Northwestern Global Health Foundation Kara Palamountain and Feinberg and McCormick Prof. Robert Murphy joined a multidisciplinary global team to form NEST360° (Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies), a project that creates packages of rugged technologies for newborn care in African hospitals. The NEST team won a $15MM grant from the MacArthur Foundation's inaugural 100&Change competition. Learn more.
Alumni Startup Updates
Built In Chicago's 50 Startups to Watch 2018 included 3 Northwestern alumni companies:  IFM Technologies, Amper and Graide Network     

Food-tech startup HazelTech, co-founded by Aidan Mouat and Adam Preslar (Weinberg alumni), raised $3.3M, the first Chicago investment by S2G Ventures (Seed 2 Growth), a multi-stage food and agriculture venture fund. More info.  
Four Kites, founded by Matt Elenjickal (McCormick and Kellogg alum), offers predictive visibility of the global supply chain.  It was listed as one of Wall Street Journal's 25 2018 Tech Companies to Watch. More info.
FY18 INVO Metrics
(since 9.1.17)  
161 Disclosures
332 Patent Applications
135 Issued Patents
6 Exclusive Licenses
12 Non-Exclusive Licenses
10 Exclusive Options
INVO Welcomes 4 New Team Members 
Andrea Minogue, Senior Director of Finance and Administration 
Andrea serves as a member of INVO's senior management team and is responsible for the financial management strategy for INVO as well as contributing to the development and implementation of the organization's strategic goals throughout the University.  She comes with over 18 years' experience in finance and operations within higher education, academic medical centers, research universities, and heath care. Andrea has a BS in Organizational Psychology from Loyola University and a Master's in Public Administration from Northwestern University.  
Wenting Luo, Invention Manager 
Wenting manages IP portfolios in life sciences with a primary focus on disease therapeutics and diagnostics, drug discovery and Biotechnology. She strategizes and leads IP protection throughout the life cycle of inventions. She actively builds business cases, initiates discussions with industry for partnership and out-licensing opportunities.
Prior to INVO, Wenting was a licensing manager in the Innovation Office at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a technology transfer assistant at the Office of Technology Licensing at Princeton University. Wenting earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and BS in Biotechnology from Jinan University, China.  
Anne-Isabelle Henry, Invention Associate 
Anne-Isabelle primarily manages technology portfolios in chemistry, materials science, and engineering. Prior to INVO, Anne-Isabelle was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University. In this role, she managed and supported several multi-institutional research programs in the Van Duyne lab. She also led the development of grant proposals, capitalizing on her extensive research experience in plasmonics, nanomaterials and related sensors for chemical and biological agents. Anne-Isabelle completed her PhD in Physical Chemistry from University Pierre & Marie Curie (Paris, France), her MS in Condensed Matter from University Paris Sud, from where she also earned her BS in Physical Chemistry. Additionally, she completed the Business for Scientists and Engineers Executive Education program from the Kellogg School of Management.
Heather Fletcher, Manager of Docketing & Compliance
Heather is responsible for leading high-performing docketing and compliance operations at INVO.  Heather concentrates her efforts on enterprise process optimization in support of INVO's mission to marshal Northwestern innovations to benefit the public and promote economic growth. Heather is an accomplished legal administrator with expertise in the intellectual property (IP) practice area.  Prior to joining INVO, Heather was the Director of IP Administration at a large global law firm where she oversaw all aspects of IP practice area operations across a substantial global platform. Heather has a B.A. in Behavioral Science and Law from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a LL.M. in International Law from the University of Edinburgh.  
Other INVO News... 
NewCures.  Initiated in 2017 by INVO, NewCures fills a translational gap in therapeutic development at Northwestern by strategically de-risking potential drugs for pharmaceutical and biomedical partnerships and/or venture investments. In consultation with its External Advisory Board comprised of biotech experts and investment leaders, NewCures manages and covers the cost for all experimental work which is outsourced to third party contract research organizations.  
After a vigorous selection process involving members from within and outside of the Northwestern community, NewCures accepted the following two projects into the accelerator:  
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma Therapy (Richard Silverman) - Safety and toxicity studies of a lead compound LHJ-11-79, novel molecule that selectively inhibits human ornithine aminotransferase; and
  • Anti-Cancer Therapy (Sarki Abdulkadir and Gary Schiltz) - Lead-optimization chemistry of MYC inhibitors demonstrated to downregulate MYC-based transcriptional activity and prevent cell proliferation.


INVOForward, a 4-week program designed to help potential Northwestern entrepreneurs with the customer discovery process, welcomed its second cohort on June 1, 2018.  Seven teams from Feinberg and McCormick will go through the customer discovery process with their health IT products by interviewing at least 30 stakeholders, researching reimbursement and regulatory strategies, understanding the landscape of intellectual property and competition, and presenting final investment pitch before an investor panel.   The next INVOForward cohort will focus on therapeutics.  For more information, visit INVOForward
INVO Practicum is graduating its January 2018 cohort. The interns included:
  • Yuanming Xu (Feinberg PhD candidate, Deyu Fang lab)
  • Alexandra De Paz (McCormick PhD candidate, Keith Tyo lab)
  • Elisa Yang (Pritzker MSL candidate)
  • Amanda Corcos (Weinberg post doc, Will Dichtel lab)
  • Rohun Palekar (Feinberg post doc, Shad Thaxton lab)
  • Yijuan Du (Feinberg post doc, Jim Surmeier lab)
The selected July 2018 cohort includes:  
  • Noah Metoki (McCormick post doc, Derk Joester lab)
  • Marco Giovannini (McCormick PhD candidate, Kornel Ehmann and Jian Cao labs)
  • Swati Dhar (Feinberg Research Associate, Oren Becher lab)
  • Peter Cherry (Weinberg post doc, Toru Shiozaki lab)
  • Carissa Heath (Weinberg PhD candidate, Sadie Wignall lab)
The Practicum is an INVO internship that offers graduate students, post-docs and research professors the opportunity to step outside of the lab and gain experience in intellectual property and market analysis of technologies.  Our past interns have stayed in research in academia or industry or have transitioned into positions in technology transfer at MIT, Rice, and NIH, and to law and consulting firms.  If you're interested in applying for a future cohort, visit this link
Visit INVO's website to see what positions are open.