Sensors company founded by alumni wins award for their innovative products
|Jared Tangney, a UC San Diego alumnus and co-founder of Electrozyme.|
San Diego, Calif., Dec 19 2014 -- Electrozyme, a company founded by a team of engineering alumni at the University of California, San Diego, won a Most Innovative New Product Award from CONNECT.
The company has deep roots at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, where co-founders Joshua Windmiller and Jared Tangney both earned their Ph.Ds. They also worked closely with the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center and the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at the school since 2010.
“This is one more recognition to Josh and Jared’s accomplishments in moving great technology from the university laboratory to the private sector,” said Rosibel Ochoa, Executive Director von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center. “It has been a privilege for me having the opportunity to support the Electrozyme team and see how their dedication and passion is being recognized by our community”
The company also recently won a Best Product Development Award from IDTechEX.
The two centers allowed the company to secure $100,000 in proof of concept funding from a Department of Energy fellowship. The co-fouders also received mentorship and entrepreneurial education. The centers were instrumental in getting Electrozyme accepted into San Diego’s Evonexus incubator.
"Both Josh and I are extremely grateful to the Jacobs School for not only providing us with solid technical educations, but also for exposing us to the world of entrepreneurship,” Tangney said. “Our engineering backgrounds have given us the ability to develop new and innovative technologies, and our entrepreneurial training has prepared us to make those technologies a commercial success."
The Most Innovative New Product (MIP) Awards is where CONNECT continues its annual tradition in honoring San Diego’s celebrities of innovation along with groundbreaking new products launched within the last year. The MIP Awards is to San Diego’s innovation industry what the Academy Awards™ is to the movie industry, according to the CONNECT website.
Electrozyme has developed sensors worn on the skin that use advanced analytics to create a personalized wellness profile. For example, the sensors allow athletes to know when it’s time to replenish lost electrolytes; receive personalized alerts when it’s time to rehydrate; and get a warning when they’re at risk of heat exhaustion.
According to UT San Diego, the company has received seed money from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and about $1.5 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health.
“With this platform and our disposable biosensors, we can analyze the chemicals in your sweat in real time to give you feedback on your personal hydration needs,” Windmiller told UT San Diego. “So with our capability, what we can tell you is when it is time to rehydrate, what you should be rehydrating with — should you be ingesting water, or Gatorade, for example — and how much should you be ingesting.”
Electrozyme started in the UC San Diego NanoBio- Electronics Lab. With the guidance of Professor Joseph Wang, Windmiller and Tangney developed a biosensor that would help identify and mitigate battlefield injuries. Since then, the concept has expanded to be of use to a much broader and more general audience. The temporary tattoo has sensory measures for lactate acid, electrolytes and ammonia. The three sensors are important measures of bodily functions and work together to appeal to the extreme athlete as well as the casual jogger.
Information is transmitted through a fitness/smart watch worn on top of the temporary tattoo. This method provides a much more immediate response than the current and rather cumbersome method of measuring lactate acid, in which blood samples are taken from finger pricks given at intervals of 10 minutes or so. The disposable sensors will cost $1 to $2. “The ink is printed using a professionally formative, conductive and insulative ink that we blend ourselves,” Windmiller says. The fitness/smart watches will be sold and developed by Electrozyme’s strategic partners.
Even though Electrozyme’s disposable sensors have a marketable release date set for 2015, they have already garnered attention from prominent investors. “The first three people to subscribe [to our emailing list] were Jared, myself and Mark Cuban,” Windmiller says. Since then, entrepreneur Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and an investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” has given Electrozyme great insight into the sports field. As for designs, the temporary tattoo can be embedded in any pattern, shape or form, making it perfect for branding, especially in the sports world.
As he continues to work on furthering Electrozyme’s own brand and its technology, Windmiller says, “My feeling of self-worth emanates from developing technology that helps the lives and well-being of everyone around me … I’ve been surrounded by excellent people who share that same vision, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re all UCSD folks.”