COnovate secures financing to accelerate and scale

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Congratulations to COnovate — a CTC client, SBIR Advance awardee and 2020 Wisconsin Innovation Award winner — upon securing key SAFE financing from a remarkable partnership led by Tundra Angels, Wisconsin Venture Partners and Jennifer Abele.

COnovate, based in Shorewood, discovered Graphene Monoxide, a nano-material that may enable enhanced safety for the use of lithium-ion batteries.

“CTC and the state of Wisconsin are really making it possible to be a startup company in the hard tech space,” said Dr. Carol Hirschmugl, CEO and co-founder of COnovate.

“It has been exciting to watch COnovate grow from an academic idea to a successfully funded SBIR/STTR company that is moving into private funding,” said Senior Technology Consultant Dr. Todd Strother. “With these funds they will be able to move their technology toward product sales. This is a perfect example of the power of a good scientific idea with excellent researchers taking advantage of the SBIR/STTR programs to push their work toward private funding and eventual commercialization.”

In 2016, founders Carol Hirschmugl and Marija Gajdardziska sought CTC mentorship to explore the federal SBIR program for their newly patented nano-material. Since then, the team has secured Department of Energy SBIR Phase I ($154,000) and Phase II ($1,049,000) grants and a National Science Foundation SBIR Phase I grant ($225,000). The company also received SBIR Advance grants in 2018 (Phase I – $75,000) and 2020 (Phase II – $100,000); the WEDC-funded program was created to provide state match funding, training and other resources to Wisconsin businesses.

“The COnovate team has been strategic in setting impactful, value-creating commercial milestones and has been aggressive in accomplishing them with the help of Wisconsin grant money,” said Brian Walsh, CTC Commercialization Consultant. “It’s exciting to see that a funding partnership led by state investors will pick up the baton, add momentum and drive the company forward in getting its innovative battery technology to market.”

We are looking forward to COnovate’s continued progress and successes.

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Learn more about COnovate’s journey from a research project to a recognized and applauded small business.