Congratulations Senior Lab Students Emily Bauer and Joseph Begun!
Emily Bauer and Joseph Begun conducted a research project in collaboration with ZYMtronix Catalytic Systems, Inc. as a part of a Fall 2014 MSE Senior Lab corporate project team. ZYMtronix, a start-up company with roots in the Giannelis group, is housed in the Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences, more commonly known as the Weill incubator. Stephane Corgie noted that “Working with a group of MSE students on their semester long project students was a great experience. The project - well structured and quite ambitious- benefited from the individual skillset of the MSE group and the synergy between students and faculty advisor. The curiosity and creativity of the group allowed ZYMtronix to explore some fundamental aspects of its platform technology." For Joseph Begun, “This senior lab project gave an incredibly immersive feel of what doing research in an industry job could be like.”
Bauer and Begun embraced the entrepreneurial spirit by applying for a grant through VentureWell, which offers entrepreneurship training via an integrated program of funding, coaching, and investment. Last fall they received a VentureWell E-Team Program Stage 1 Grant, submitted with MSE Senior Lab professor, Julie Nucci, and ZYMtronix founder and CEO, Stephane Corgie, Ph.D, as their faculty and corporate mentors. The $5000 Stage 1 grant allowed Bauer and Begun to delve more deeply into the business aspect of ZYMtronix. They attended a workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts over winter break where we learned about value propositions, market analysis, and competition analysis. At the conference they gained an appreciation of all the elements that go into a successful business and product. They also had the opportunity to network with about twenty other student start-up teams and learn about their products and businesses, as well as their strategies for starting a successful venture.
This spring, the same team submitted and received a $20,000 Stage 2 Venture Well grant, which will fund student stipends, equipment and supplies, and a second business development workshop, which the students will attend in August. This Stage 2 grant leveraged their senior lab research and applied it to the development and commercialization of a pesticide-free seed coating technology to destroy plant pathogens during germination.