Spring 2014

INVO celebrates the promotion of Alicia L�ffler 
INVO's Executive Director, Alicia L�ffler, PhD was named Associate Provost for Innovation and New Ventures, while still retaining her position as Associate Vice President of Research and Executive Director of INVO.  In this new role, she will provide leadership of student experiential education programs while continuing to oversee tech transfer and business/ government relations for the Office for Research. 
INVO welcomes
New Staff  
Nicole Janovick, JD, PhD joined INVO's legal team in March 2014. Nicole assists with a variety of intellectual property matters including patent prosecution, negotiation and drafting of agreements, and inventor portfolio management. Her primary focus areas are technologies in the life sciences, including medical devices and biotechnology. Prior to INVO, Nicole was General Counsel for a not-for-profit organization and a start-up investment company. She also worked in technology transfer at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Nicole completed her J.D. at the University of Illinois in 2011 and is admitted to the Illinois State Bar. She holds a Ph.D. in Animal Science at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Nicole earned her M.S. and B.S. at Iowa State University.
Upcoming Events 
INVO Commercialization Seminar: 
A Primer on Venture Capital
April 29, 2014 5-6pm  (CH) & April 30, 2014 12:15-1:15pm (EV)
Louis Berneman and
Matthew Cohen from Osage 
University Partners, a venture capital fund that works with select high quality universities and research institutions to invest on their behalf in start-
ups across all sectors and stages that are commercializing their technologies.
  Mr. Berneman will provide an overview on venture capital with respect to entrepreneurship. Please register at EventBrite to reserve your spot:   Evanston link and Chicago link.

entrepreneur@nu Conference: 
April 25, 2014 8:15-5pm
e@nu is Northwestern's annual entrepreneurship-focused conference, drawing faculty, students and staff across the Evanston and Chicago campuses as well as attracting alumni and the broader community.  The 2014 keynote speakers are Ben Parr, a venture capitalist and former editor-at-large of Mashable, and Norbert Riedel, president and CEO of NU startup Naurex and former Corporate VP and Chief Science and Innovation Officer at Baxter.  Register in advance. 
Twitter Handle: #NUStartups
Student Startup News

Orpheden Therapeutics, composed of students from Kellogg and Feinberg, is one
of ten finalists in the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge. Their business plan covers a NCI-patented, personalized therapy that stimulates the immune system to fight breast cancer.  The inventors of this  
therapy, Vice-Dean Alan Krensky (Feinberg) and Prof. Carol Clayberger (Feinberg),
were formerly at the NCI and are currently at Northwestern. Orpheden will have a chance to pitch their business plan for more than $100,000 in venture capital funding in June.

Two Northwestern student startups participated in the 2014 Clean Energy Trust Challenge and won $100,000 cumulatively.  MyPower created and developed a consumer device that captures and converts kinetic energy of a user's daily motion into extra battery charge for a cell phone.  MeterGenius is a free consumer website that provides tools and incentives for residents with smart meters to save money on their electricity bill.  Both startups represented Northwestern well at this prestigious cleantech business plan competition.

New Resources for Northwestern Inventors
The Garage
An update on the new collaborative space in the North Garage...
Donations of over $3M have been made towards the 11,000 sq. ft. innovation space.  The Garage will provide an on-campus locale where students from the various schools at Northwestern can congregate, collaborate and innovate in one place.  The university hopes to open The Garage by the end of 2014.  

The NUseeds Fund
Funding to help bridge the commercialization gap. 
NUseeds is an innovation fund at Northwestern to support new discoveries at the University and will complement The Garage. The fund will encourage participation from schools and programs across campus by financing new ventures created by Northwestern faculty, students and alumni. Fundraising for NUseeds is ongoing. 
Faculty Startup Milestones

Photonic Engines, an NU startup, based on Bruce Wessels' (McC) barium titanate modulator technology, has initiated fundraising.  Photonic Engines is developing the next generation of communications components and systems that provide ultra-high speed data transmission.  The patented technology overcomes bottlenecks of information transfer, so that the bandwidth and speed of data transfer can be significantly increased with efficient power consumption, thermal performance and reduced device size. The company is actively seeking partners to advance commercialization.

SiNode Systems, an NU startup based on Prof. Harold Kung's (McC) battery technology announced that Energy Foundry joined their seed round of funding.

Innoblative Designs, an NU startup using Prof. David Mahvi's (Feinberg) has designed a radiofrequency ablation probe for the treatment of breast cancer.  The team won several business plan competitions: 4th place at the 2014 Rice Business Plan Competition; 2nd place at the 2014 Stu Clark Investment Competition at University of Manitoba; and Runner-Up for the Oregon New Venture Championship and an award for Best Business Plan.


4C Insights (formerly Voxsup) is an NU startup based upon Prof. Alok

Choudhary's (McC) social intelligence platform that collects public social data and applies its algorithms to determine affinities between audiences and brands. 4C recently announced a relationship with Facebook to capitalize on the enormous amount of public data available to help companies best target their audiences for television broadcast programming. 
New INVO Agreements
INVO executed
7 licensing agreements


The licensees and primary faculty inventors are listed below:


 Proteinaceous, Inc: Prof. Neil Kelleher (McC)

Lysosomal Therapeutics Incorporated: Prof. Dimitri Krainc (Feinberg)

AuraSense: Prof. Chad Mirkin (McC & Weinberg)

eLucid Technology LLC: Prof. Tobin Marks (Weinberg)

Advanced Hydro Inc.: Prof. Phil Messesmith (McC)

Sintact Medical Systems, LLC: Prof. Dean Ho (McC) and Patrick McCarthy (Feinberg) 

Other INVO News... 



INVO's second video covers the basics of patenting an invention and is now posted online. Visit our website to watch "Patenting Your Invention." We also highly recommend for all (faculty, postdocs, and students) to watch our first video on "Disclosing Your Invention," a 23 minute video that covers the disclosure process at Northwestern University.  In spite of its length, overall feedback so far has been very positive.

Eight graduate students from McCormick, Kellogg, Law and Feinberg will spend 8 weeks working collaboratively on commercializing NU technologies as part of the 2014 I2C Summer Fellowship.  The fellowship runs from June 23-August 15, 2014.  For more details, contact Sonia Kim.

The 2014 CD2 Fellows have been selected. Korak Sarkar, MD is a Brain Injury Medicine Fellow at the RIC and NMH. Amanda Chi, MD, is a resident in urology at Northwestern. Gali Baler is a graduating PhD student in Biomedical Engineering.  Paaras Modi is a current Northwestern undergraduate studying biomedical engineering and working towards his Masters in Materials Science. The current 2013 CD2 Fellows have formed several teams.  Team Entrenous™ is developing a novel ostomy care solution. They recently won the first phase of the E-team grants through the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). Adam Piotrowski formed a team to commercialize IntelliDrain™, Dr. Ankit Bharat's (Feinberg) innovative solution for chest drainage. He is also a team member of Innoblative Designs (see above).  For more information, visit

INVO & Social Media (Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube) 
  • 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. 
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