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December 22, 2016

Seven companies receive MTI funding

The Maine Technology Institute has awarded $33,100 in funding that's intended to advance new products and process development at seven companies across the state.

Five companies received TechStart grants totaling $23,100 and two received Phase O awards totaling $10,000. The awards leveraged $37,384 from the recipients.

"These small, yet foundational, investments will help these Maine companies acquire critically needed information about the economic potential of these innovative concepts and products," MTI President Brian Whitney said in a statement. "Ideally, the research and analysis obtained will allow them to further scale their products and companies for future growth and success."

Companies receiving Tech Start grants are:

BlackTieGroup LLC, dba Jellux, Saco: Award $5,000, match, $7,015.

With the MTI TechStart Grant, Jellux, an advanced marine and outdoor lighting company from Maine, will obtain crucial funding for in-depth, multi-regional market evaluation and product assessment. Jellux offers a series of LED-illuminated products, including a patent-pending LED dock bumper and complete lighting system targeting the marine industry. The products have penetrated outside the marine market into various commercial and residential applications. Jellux now needs help in evaluating its products within the diverse markets of the marine industry.

SpinDoc Inc., Augusta: Award $4,500; match, $4,500.

SpinDoc is a Maine-based, business-to-business, software-as-a-service enterprise that will serve physician practices and health care organizations across the U.S. by streamlining office workflow and business processes. Physician offices have embraced Electronic Health Record technology solutions over the last decade, yet there are still gaps and inefficiencies. SpinDoc will use automation and natural language-processing techniques to help practices reduce their overhead costs and improve quality of care. MTI funding will allow SpinDoc to do market research to analyze the size and specific issues of the top 20 EHR products, the primary SpinDoc market.

SteriZign Precision Technologies LLC, Brunswick: Award, $5,000; match, $7,000.

SteriZign Precision Technologies designs and manufactures customized sterilization containers for complex reusable medical devices. The company is currently developing prototypes to create its first proprietary product line and is developing its quality assurance, employee safety, and process assurance management programs. MTI funding will help SteriZign secure funding for business plan development, including patent research, accounting and financial consulting, marketing communication consulting and the purchase of a specific market research report that will help steer the direction of product development.

Sensory Eyesight for Education Inc., Old Orchard Beach: Award, $3,600; match, $3,800.

Sensory Eyesight for Education has designed a therapeutic medical device that will enable individuals with cortical visual impairment who are under the age of 22 to build new brain cells around old damaged brain tissue. There are over four million individuals affected by this low vision disability. This medical device layers multi-therapeutic techniques together to provide, over time, a clear picture for those with cortical visual impairment to regain vision by looking at an appealing surface.

MechArtisan LLC, Portland: Award, $5,000; match, $5,000.

MechArtisan LLC is creating a new surgical device to assist in the positioning of patients for a specific heart surgery procedure. This composite device utilizes proprietary technology to redefine the level of fixture modularity and robustness previously unavailable to the market. The participation of MTI in this development effort will provide MechArtisan LLC with the funding to confirm market demand prior to further device development efforts.

Companies receiving Phase 0 awards are:

Kennebec River Biosciences Inc., Richmond: Award, $5,000; match, $5,069.

Kennebec River Biosciences is an internationally recognized aquatic animal health company with core competencies in diagnostics, pathogen surveillance and autogenous vaccine development and production. The company is proposing to develop a novel approach to improve the health and survival of several key aquaculture marine species. The Phase 0 Award will be used to support a grant writer that will assist in the submission of a National Science Foundation SBIR Phase 1 Grant to fund the technology development.

SpinDoc Inc., Augusta: Award, $5,000; match, $5,000.

MTI Phase 0 funding will be used to apply for a National Institutes of Health Omnibus grant.

The next application deadline for MTI's TechStart Grant program is Jan. 10. Phase 0 Award applications are accepted on a rolling basis and at least 30 days in advance of solicitation due date.

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