The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub of North Little Rock announced Wednesday that eight teams representing five universities kicked off an inaugural 12-week I-Fund program in Fayetteville over the weekend.
I-Fund is an early stage, proof-of-concept fund formed to capitalize and train university startups, according to the Hub's website.
Each team, which has at least one student member and one member from the business community, was awarded up to $50,000 in capital and will join a network that gives them access to mentors, investors and other entrepreneurs.
The teams will also receive structured training that includes the Lean Startup methodology to make sure the students validate their ideas before launching them.
The first set of participants were selected by a five-person investment committee.
The teams are:
- Carbolytix. It's working to develop a catalyst for hydrolyzing carbohydrates into glucose. The team is based at the University of Arkansas.
- Grox Industries. The team is developing a procedure to reduce the volatility and manufacturing costs of graphene. It is also based at the UA.
- IntelliNexus. It's developing technology that introduces intelligence in both autonomous and driver-controlled vehicles. The team is based at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the UA.
- Knallhart AgriTech. The team is making a product that reduces excess runoff of irrigation tailwater. It's based at Arkansas State University and the UA.
- Rejuvenics Technologies. It's developing a procedure to expedite healing of chronic wounds. The team is based at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the UA.
- Nexgen Medical. The team is engineering material to increase cell adhesion for tissue growth. It is based at the UA and Oklahoma University.
- Sipp Coffee. The team is developing an app for finding the best coffee in the user's location. It is based at the UA.
- TorOptic. The team is developing a device to deliver ophthalmic medication without eye irritation. It is based at the UA.