Startups Capture $450,000 in Pre-Seed Funding

Arcanatura, C8 Sciences and Medical Device Logistics first to receive pre-seed funding in new fiscal year

Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development, today announced that it has committed funding totaling $450,000 to three startup technology companies through its Pre-Seed Fund:

• Arcanatura LLC (Groton, Conn.) • C8 Sciences (formerly BeCaid LLC) (New Haven, Conn.) • Medical Device Logistics LLC (MDL) (Stonington, Conn.)

Each of these companies has also secured matching funds from private investors, as required by pre-seed legislation.

“The Pre-Seed Fund is off to a strong start this fiscal year, providing capital to three exciting new startups,” said Charlie Moret, managing director, business development. “The entrepreneurial activity we’re seeing is robust and encouraging, and we believe momentum continues to build – which will boost demand for this important initiative.”

Arcanatura is an early-stage, green, animal healthcare product company. It is committed to developing natural, high quality, clinical trial tested health products (mainly from plant origin) for targeting chronic and recurring health problems of dogs, cats and horses. An example is a natural solution to repel fleas and ticks, which is now under development. The company plans to offer its products direct to consumers via its website and social media marketing. A sister company, Arcanatura SAS, is based in France and will market the company’s products in Europe and Africa.

Arcanatura was launched in 2008 and received early business assistance through the Technology Incubator Program (TIP) at the University of Connecticut. It later participated in UConn’s Innovation Accelerator, where it received assistance in developing a marketing strategy. The company went on to receive a $30,000 grant from the State of Connecticut’s Small Business Incubation Program, which was used to develop Arcanatura’s e-commerce website.

C8 Sciences (www.c8sciences.com) intends to market neuroscience-based, web-delivered brain development programs that are integrated with physical exercise. The initial product is designed to improve the learning ability of elementary school children and also promises to have value in identifying and treating children with ADHD. The company’s first set of computer games incorporates physical exercises with cognitive functions, automatically adjusting the difficulty to the capability of the child and providing real-time corrective messaging and online error diagnostics for the child and teacher. This enables the teacher to provide further individualized instruction.

The initial product is based on intellectual property being patented by Yale University, resulting from a collaboration between company founders Professor Bruce Wexler, M.D., of Yale School of Medicine, whose research has focused on neuroscience and psychiatry, and Professor Jinxia Dong, Ph.D., of Peking University, whose research has focused on sports training. This innovative product, which will be useful not only with elementary school students but also middle and high school students and adults, addresses the growing “digital brain health and fitness” market, which is expected to reach over $2 billion within five years. It is well suited for school systems committed to innovation, after-school programs where cost-efficient educational programming is needed, and special needs programs.

Medical Device Logistics is an early-stage company that is developing a closed trading platform for hospitals and surgical centers to sell and purchase new medical implants and surgical devices that are considered idle inventory. The company also plans to provide an inventory management tool. Using the MDL platform, participating hospitals and surgical centers will be able to anonymously create listings of their idle inventory, and buyers will be able to anonymously search other hospitals’ listed idle inventory. The platform should help trim the average hospital’s $250,000 in idle inventory.

CI’s $4 million Pre-Seed Fund supports the formation of new Connecticut technology companies. It provides loans of up to $150,000 to Connecticut-based startup and early-stage technology companies. Funding may be used for a wide range of startup expenses such as accounting, legal, intellectual property development, technology and prototype development, business plan development, technology assessments, market analyses, market entry strategy development, and hiring of advisors and employees. CI’s team also provides mentoring and will help coordinate access to resources.

The Pre-Seed Fund is an important component of the state’s high-tech economic development engine. It provides an avenue for initial funding for companies and entrepreneurs emerging from universities and dovetails nicely with other tech startup resources such as the CTech business incubators, the Connecticut Angel Investor Tax Credit (which stimulates private investments in early-stage companies) and private capital resources such as LaunchCapital and the Advantage Capital Connecticut fund.

Last fiscal year, the Pre-Seed Fund’s first year of operation, CI supported 10 entrepreneurial companies through the fund.

About Connecticut Innovations Inc. Connecticut Innovations (CI) is a quasi-public organization dedicated to driving a vibrant, entrepreneurial, technology-based economy in Connecticut. CI stimulates high-tech growth by investing in early-stage Connecticut technology companies, university/industry research collaborations and technology transfer and collaborating with government, business, nonprofit and academic organizations to advance technology growth and promote public policies consistent with CI’s mission. Additionally, CI supports clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives through its administration of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority. For more information on CI, please visit www.ctinnovations.com

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