2019 InnoSTARS Houston Recap

2019 InnoSTARS Competition Houston Preliminary on May 17, was a great success, with 12 companies selected to enter the industry finals in which will take place in China.

The competition focuses on seven industries: Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, Environmental Technology, Biopharma, Medical Device Digital Health and Diagnosis, Information and Communication Technology, and Energy. Each respective field yielded three victors for a total of twelve companies. Below is the complete list of winners:

Track 1 Advanced Manufacturing | Materials | Environmental Technology

Best in Show

Ecosweet® is a vertically integrated developer, manufacturer, and marketer of natural and organic sweeteners, helping industrial food and beverage companies move away from full-calorie conventional sugar and high fructose corn syrup to provide healthy alternatives and reduce sugar consumption naturally.

Judges' Choice

LinkDyn Robotics aims at commercializing physically interactive robotic systems. LinkDyn provides innovative robot systems based on advanced force-control robotic technology that enables new human-robot interaction in VR applications with realistic force feedback, robotic rehabilitation with seamless assistance, and automation of force-oriented industrial tasks.

Judges' Choice

Molecular Rebar Design, LLC (MRD) was formed to invent, patent, develop, produce and commercialize technology that converts as made carbon nanotubes into valuable products for a variety of applications. 

Track 2 Biopharma | Medical Device, Digital Health and Diagnosis

Best in Show

Vitanova Biomedical, Inc. (VNB) is a San Antonio, TX-based early stage biotechnology firm developing patented (pending) technology licensed from the University of Texas at San Antonio. VNB’s cancer therapy platform technology induces Light-Activated Intracellular Acidosis (LAIA) proven capable of producing 81-100% cancer cell death in multiple cancer cell types in less than 2 hours including triple negative breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer cells.

Judges' Choice

Dynamic Light achieves real time SpeckleViewTM imaging using modular, patented algorithms and software that can work on a wide variety of platforms already in place in hospital operating rooms.

Judges' Choice

Clyra Medical Technologies Inc. provides a game-changing antimicrobial wound care products to an important application that currently is not well served by existing products: chronic wound care.

Track 3 Information and Communication Technology

Best in Show

Smartenius Inc. works on the design, manufacturing, and sales of novel sensing systems that can rapidly detect and locate structural damage in infrastructure before expensive repairs are required, enabling owners to switch from time-based to condition-based maintenance and lower maintenance costs by at least 30%.

Judges' Choice

Swytch provides a cloud-based data service layer connecting IoT and smart energy devices to permission structures to create shareable data to drive sustainability goals and energy source tracking.

Judges' Choice

Emerging Technology Ventures (ETV)is principally engaged in the research, design, development, integration & sustainability of advanced autonomous data-driven services. They build innovative, high-growth market opportunities utilizing data-driven systems. ETV is executing a multi-phased development project, SkyAI. 

Track 4 Energy

Best in Show

V3 has developed, tested, and patented a revolutionary new utility-scale wind power technology that is dramatically different in look and function from traditional wind turbines.

Judges' Choice

Elite Power Solutions is a company focusing on developing battery management system (BMS) and integrated Lithium-Ion battery solutions for electric propulsion systems, energy storage systems, and many other applications.

Judges' Choice

Gas Activated System Inc (GAS) is a company using its advanced Industrial Internet of Things(IIOT)infrastructure to monitor and control fugitive gas emissions at oil and gas exploration and production sites, like refineries, storage, and transmission facilities.

Competitors from the last year’s InnoSTARS were also invited to the competition to share their stories of success post-InnoSTARS. 

The founder and CEO of air traffic control system company FlyGlobos, Miguel Cará participated in InnoSTARS competition last May, ultimately taking the company through to the final competition in China. After the competition, he was able to establish contact with many different Chinese companies and plans on opening subsidiaries in three Chinese cities. 

“Maintaining these partnerships and creating new partnerships in China is directly related to the mission of the US China Innovation Alliance. If not for the support of InnoSTARS and UCIA, I would never have had the opportunity to go to China and create these new partnerships.” 

At the same time, Cara made note that he did not want to just enter the Chinese market as a tech company, but he also wanted to introduce his airline as a supporter of the One Belt One Road policy. 

Vice Chairwoman and Head Legal Consultant, Margaret Richardson of the agricultural product manufacturer Anuvia Plant Nutrients, led her company in the InnoSTARS competition, ultimately scoring second in the China finale.  

After the competition, the company maintained consistent and healthy relationships with her partners in China. In the next coming months, Richardson will be heading to China again to have further discussions with her already well-established contacts in the country, hoping to bring over even more of her product. 

“The InnoSTARS competition was extremely beneficial for Anuvia Plant Nutrients.” She commented that “it helped us understand how to better satisfy the Chinese market as well as find suitable partnerships (in China)”. 

In the face of the challenge of the U.S.-China trade spat, Richardson believes that international conflicts are a regular occurrence, herself placing more emphasis on cooperation and exchange between firms on a micro level. “We view relations with China from a long-term perspective, we will definitely be working with our Chinese partners in the future.”