Aatru Medical Corp. claimed the top prize of $100,000 from the Innovation Fund. It was one of four Northeast Ohio startups that got funding to help take their products to the next level.
Aatru is developing a wound dressing product that leverages technology by designing the industry's first and only fully self-contained negative pressure dressing that eliminates the need for pumps, batteries, hoses, and canisters.
The company is using the award money to refine product design and components, complete some product testing, and begin the FDA submission process.
With the latest $175,000 in investments, the Innovation Fund has awarded $11.7 million to 178 local technology startups since it started accepting applications in July 2007.
"We're closing in on the Innovation Fund's 10-year anniversary and the regional economic impact we're now seeing from our portfolio is growing exponentially," Dennis Cocco, director of the Innovation Fund, said in a statement.
Akron-based Triple Beam Technologies won $25,000. The company is developing the Cannibuster, a portable, rapid-results device that evaluates marijuana levels in suspected impaired drivers. The product includes a handheld analyzer and a one-time use test cartridge that's expected to provide a low-cost, rapid method of screening.
Company officials are optimistic that Cannibuster becomes an integral tool that law enforcement uses to identify and prosecute drugged drivers -- just like the alcohol breathalyzer identifies and helps to prosecute drunken drivers. The Innovation Fund award money will help the company complete technology validation studies and gain the real-world data needed to raise more money.
Studio Stick also won $25,000. The Cleveland-based company has developed a portable recording studio for smartphones and tablets. The 20-inch container opens and expands to a musician's height, revealing a reflective filter, microphone, pop filter, phone holder and stand.
Combined with the company's mobile app, users can record high quality songs or any type of audio anywhere. Studio Stick plans to use the funding for product development, website development, and marketing efforts.
Komae also won $25,000 for a new app that helps parents unlock unlimited babysitting by exchanging sitting opportunities with trusted friends. The free app connects parents with people they and their children already know, allowing parents to make and fill babysitting requests for each other.
The startup just released its app in Apple and Android app stores. Komae's founders, Audrey Wallace and Amy Husted, will use the money to design, develop, and deploy a new user experience based on the results of usability testing.