Tapping into Yale’s Resources for Funding, Designing, and Launching a Startup
Yale SBIR Success Stories
Vincent Pieribone, Ph.D., professor of cellular and molecular physiology and of neurobiology, cofounded the New Haven-based company Marinus Pharmaceuticals in 2005, raising $29.4 million in Series A financing in addition to receiving an SBIR grant. The company is dedicated to the development and commercialization of novel drugs to treat serious neurological, psychiatric and pain disorders.
Adam Wisnewski, Ph.D., senior research scientist in medicine, has received multiple Phase I and Phase II STTR grants for his work with the New Haven-based startup L2 Diagnostics to develop innovative biomonitoring approaches to exposure surveillance for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). This compound is used to make foams, coatings, and other products, but also leads to MDI asthma in exposed workers.
Michael Hodsdon, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of laboratory medicine and of pharmacology and associate director of the Yale Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, was awarded a Phase I SBIR grant for his work developing a rapid phenotypic method relying on mass spectrometry to detect carbapenemase activity. This test would help prevent outbreaks of drug-resistant bacteria, a major threat to global health. Hodsdon’s New Haven-based startup, M/Z Diagnostics, includes David Peaper, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of laboratory medicine and director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory; and Mandar Kulkarni, Ph.D., who completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Yale.
Opportunities for Students
The Venture Creation Program (VCP) at YEI is designed to help students turn that nugget of an idea into commercial gold with financial support, mentoring, and expert advice. Student startups at any stage in the inspiration process will be given consideration for admittance into the VCP. Many of these early-stage teams have gone on to secure coveted Summer Fellowships, in which they work to develop their newly honed ideas into successful businesses. Selected teams receive up to $2,500 to develop their prototype or proof of concept, and are assigned a mentor. They are also provided with access to YEI consultants and corporate partners as well as a dedicated space in the YEI Incubator.
YEI has earmarked a portion of the VCP funding specifically for postdoc and graduate student researchers interested in launching ventures with faculty support. Contact Erika Smith, email@example.com, for an application and more information.
YCCI encourages faculty members and students to take advantage of the resources offered by OCR and YEI. Such new funding opportunities as SBIR and STTR are especially important in light of shrinking NIH budgets. These programs challenge investigators to think about their research in new ways that have the potential to speed the development of new therapies.