Three laser-tech startups receive funding from UA-focused venture fund UAVenture Capital
UAVenture Capital Fund, a venture capital fund designed to commercialize University of Arizona Science, Technology, Services and Products, has invested in three startups developing specialized lasers. The total amounts of the investments were not disclosed. UAVenture Capital co-founder and CEO Fletcher McCusker has said its individual investments typically average about $2 million.
According to the announcement, UAVenture Capital Fund II will go towards investments in DeUVe Photonics Inc., CThru Lasers Inc. and Wavelength Unlimited Technologies Inc. They were based on inventions by UA professor of optical sciences Mahmoud Fallahi and UA assistant optics research professor Chris Hessenius, both “nationally known experts in laser technology applications.”
Founded in 2012, UAVenture Capital or UAVC, is a Tucson based investment fund designed specifically to help finance University of Arizona connected enterprises including the commercialization of faculty led innovation originating at the University of Arizona. The fund provides early stage capital to companies where the science or service array was pioneered by faculty members, students and/or colleagues at the University of Arizona, one of the top research universities in the world.
“Mahmoud and Chris have been working together for several years and have developed commercial applications for laser technologies far superior to anything available today,” McCusker said in announcing the funding. “Both professors are researching and developing state-of-the-art products that are world-changing.”
Commenting on the funding announcement, Mahmoud Fallahi a UA professor, said: “Going from entertainment to application that are helping the society for better technologies for medical, communication, detection, and identification.”
The three conjoined startup companies are working on creating a new generation of lasers. They have a patent to make the wavelengths they produce on-demand. Below is a little more about the startups.
- DeUVe Photonics is developing deep-ultra-violet short-wave-length technology to address an unmet need in the 230-400 nanometer wavelength range with higher performance in power, reduced size and efficiency. Potential applications include detection of biological or chemical substances for defense, mining safety and surveying and rapid inspection of semiconductor chips.
- CThru Lasers is developing several technologies including multi-color-multi-wavelength lasers, visible lasers and near-infrared lasers for many uses in the tunable-laser market, such as extremely large light displays in sports venues, underwater and space communications and medical 3D imaging.
- Wavelength Unlimited Technologies’ technology uses near-to-far infrared lasers to scan for “spectral fingerprints” or to “see inside” substances, with applications such as drug-purity testing and security screening for hazardous materials.
Since its founding in 2017, UAVenture Capital has invested in a dozen UA technology spinoffs.