MassVentures Awards $2M to 2013 “START” Stage I and Stage II Program Winners

by MVStaff

Funding to help Massachusetts companies commercialize technologies and help build sustainable businesses in the Commonwealth

MassVentures announced today the 2013 START Stage I and Stage II program winners. START is a $6 million initiative funded by the Patrick Administration and administered by MassVentures to help growing companies commercialize technologies developed under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts. The program is intended to help high-growth companies grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth.

The companies are all Massachusetts-based and Phase II SBIR/STTR contract winners whose technology innovations have prospects for creating high-growth commercial products or services. The ten Stage I winners each receive a grant of $100,000. The winners are:

Boston Engineering

A biomimetic, autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that employs the mechanics and dynamics of biological fish to address critical capability gaps in military and security applications. Waltham, MA

Energid Technologies

An ultra-lightweight robotic manipulator, trainable by anyone. With a humanoid structure and powerful control software, it provides large and small manufacturers with a turnkey cost-effective solution.  Cambridge, MA

Fluidity Software

State of the art education and scientific visualization systems aimed at revolutionizing the way people learn. Somerville, MA

Ginkgo BioWorks

Makes and sells engineered organisms to customers who seek to move to fermentation-based production of ingredients.  Our customers span the agriculture, pharmaceutical, energy and food sectors.  Boston, MA


A service company that designs complex mixed-signal integrated circuits for world-class companies.  It is preparing to enter, with the help of the START program, the emerging market for multi-spectral imaging solutions. Marlborough, MA


Cost-effective, self-biased ferrite circulators which reduce electromagnetic interference in high energy environments. Canton, MA

 mZeal Communications

Developing cyber-security tools for network infrastructure and industrial enterprises. mZeal PEARL Analytics product enables proactive cyber defense and real time anomaly detection with universal applications. Littleton, MA

Radiation Monitoring Devices

Spectroscopic radiation sensors with neutron detection for dosimetry and area monitoring. Watertown, MA

Reactive Innovations

Oxygen separation from air in a portable device for medical breathing. Westford, MA

Triton Systems

Lightweight, high strength internal combustion engine pistons for improved efficiency and performance. Chelmsford, MA

Additionally, five Stage II winners were selected from the 2012 Stage I winners. These companies have been judged to have made the most progress towards commercialization over the past year and receive a follow-on $200,000 START Stage II grant.  The five winners are:


Custom artistic tile mosaics, using proprietary CAD software and advanced robotic manufacturing systems. Boston, MA


Pioneering the science of consumer location analytics. Boston, MA


Advanced ferrite-based solutions to enhance the performance and effectiveness of mission-critical security, surveillance and communication systems. Canton, MA

Muzzy Lane

Creator of innovative, award-winning educational games. Newburyport, MA

Physical Sciences Inc.

Developing micro-air vehicle systems for surveillance and security applications. Andover, MA

“Small businesses continue to spur the economic recovery in Massachusetts and the Patrick Administration is committed to supporting these businesses as part of the effort to create economic opportunity for everyone,” said Greg Bialecki, the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “The START winners continue to perform exceptionally well and are an example of why Massachusetts is recovering faster and stronger than the nation.”

Based on the success of the program, at the end of the third year, two companies will be chosen for a $500,000 investment based on their potential for growth and profitability. The program will be repeated annually with the application process opening again in early 2014.

“The success of the START program is dependent on the innovation and creativity of the people and the technologies that they develop.  We were pleased again this year at the high caliber of companies in Massachusetts applying for funding to help accelerate commercialization of their technologies,” said Jerry Bird, President of MassVentures. “This year’s winners are a strong indicator of the depth and breadth of innovation being developed in the Commonwealth to support the economy and job growth.”

For more details on the program, eligibility requirements and the application and granting process, please visit

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