By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
“We blew our goal out of the water,” Innovasan’s Jeff Hubrig Jr. says of very important tests that were completed just ahead of the start-up’s graduation from this year’s “The TENN” master accelerator last month.
The tests that he was referencing were conducted by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Environmental Biomedical on a prototype of the company’s Gauntlet Disinfection System.
“We ran a wastewater surrogate through the unit that was inoculated with two different types of bacteria – Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli,” Hubrig explained. The latter is more commonly referred to as E. coli.
“We achieved a 6 log reduction which equates to 99.9999 percent kill of the bacteria,” he said of the extremely high disinfectant rate. “Our goal was to achieve a 4 log on each one.”
As noted in our first teknovation.biz article about the company, Innovasan is focused on bringing to market a cost effective solution to treat and dispose of fluid medical waste. It is a patented process under the brand name Med-San®.
The technology was developed internally by Innovasan’s founding team. Research began in 2007 with much of it funded by a grant from the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command (USAMRMC), and a more recent Phase I award under the Department of Defense (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The founding team has also contributed nearly $1M in personal funds.
Hubrig is Innovasan’s Director of Business Development and has been the primary public face of the company for the past two years as it has entered and won a number of pitch events including two 2014 competitions – Life Science Tennessee’s “Venture Forum” and CO.LAB’s “Will This Float?” Innovasan, founded by on technology developed by Hubrig’s father, also competed in the 2014 “New England Venture Summit,” 2015 “Cleantech Open” Southeast Regional competition, and the more recent Charlotte Venture Challenge.
With the prototype testing complete and fully validated in the prototype, Hubrig says the company is focused on raising $1.4 million in a seed round. The capital will allow it to build several units, conduct Beta testing in a local medical facility, and fully demonstrate the return on investment to customers.
As far as “The TENN,” Hubrig says the best analogy to describe his feelings when it ended was how he felt when he graduated from the University of Kansas. “It was bittersweet,” he said.
Now, in addition to raising capital and successfully completing the Beta test, there’s a wedding scheduled for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Such is the life on an entrepreneur, juggling many balls at one time.