Three local Charleston companies got accepted in SCRA Technology Ventures SC Launch Program. The announcement came this week after making Go Where I Go, International BioMedical Devices and VesselTek client companies in April.
“We are delighted to welcome these companies,” said SC Launch Executive Director Greg Hillman. “As part of our mission to lead the Knowledge Economy in South Carolina, we look forward to working with these promising companies and the contributions that will bring to our state.”
The selections, completely diverse from one another—from responsive social media to medical devices and prosthetic grafts—represent the nature of the Launch Program, which is to develop new technologies in various fields, create jobs and advance the Knowledge Economy through the state of South Carolina. Adding to the biotech sector are International BioMedical Devices (IBMD) and Vesseltek, while representing the everyday technology sector is Go Where I Go (GWIG)
IBMD, a medical device company in the field of ophthalmic surgery, is the result of a collaboration between an Israeli partner and an ophthalmic surgeon. Together they developed a novel precision capsulotomy system for use in cataract surgery. Their trademarked ApertureRx System allows the surgeon to perform a precisely sized and consistently centered incision into the crystalline lens of the eye with every cataract surgery procedure. They plan to manufacture the specialized tip in South Carolina, and their technology is exclusively licensed from the Israeli inventor.
Vesseltek has created a prosthetic vascular graft that utilizes a patented coating which dramatically reduces restenosis, a narrowing of the blood vessels. Vascular grafts used in below the knee applications fail at a rate of about 70 percent, due to clotting and chronic swelling, and Vesseltek’s antioxidant coating addresses both of these issues. The company plans to commercialize this product, holds five previous patents and has three additional patents pending.
Go Where I Go (GWIG), a responsive social media application for smart phone users and small business owners. The app is built around users referring friends to businesses that they love, 50 million of which have already been pre-loaded in the app using Google Places. The app also provides businesses with analytics on their referrals. This month GWIG will launch beta tests in Charleston and Memphis. Look for them on Shark Tank, ABC’s popular entrepreneurial and investor show, in the spring of 2015.
SCRA Technology Ventures helps innovative companies grow and develop new technologies, creating jobs and advancing the Knowledge Economy throughout South Carolina. This SCRA business sector provides support and mentoring through its flagship SC Launch program to early stage, start-up technology companies. Since 2006, SCRA has deployed over $79 million in funding and infrastructure to support over 280 high-tech, early-stage enterprises and has directly invested over $18 million in South Carolina start-ups, attracting over $260 million in private investment. SCRA Technology Ventures also supports commercialization and growth by facilitating the transfer of intellectual property and accelerating the transition of inventions to the marketplace. Additionally, SCRA Technology Ventures invests in more established technology companies through its Stage 2 affiliate.