SBIR Targeted Technologies ("START") Program Company Stories


Since 2012, MassVentures' START program has granted $28.2 million to 95 companies that have gone on to raise more than $3.5 billion and employ more than 2,500 people in the Commonwealth. START offers MA-based, SBIR Phase II companies, grants and business guidance to help them commercialize their technologies. Read a few of their stories here.

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Aclarity has developed a proprietary electrochemical treatment system that cost-effectively destroys contaminants in water. It is the first company to commercialize a system for destroying "forever chemicals" or PFAS, ubiquitous water pollutants that have been linked to hormone disruption, cancer and other health issues. Aclarity's innovation addresses a $30 billion+ problem eliminating PFAS wastewater management and disposal while improving human health. The company is closing in on a Seed Round with Burnt Island Ventures, DCVC, and MassVentures for field deployment.



This startup is developing air purification and HVAC systems that capture and destroy sub-micron pollutants, including viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ultra-fine particulates. The technology, which grew out of research at Harvard University’s Aizenberg’s laboratory is more effective, more energy efficient, uses fewer natural resources, and is less costly to maintain than comparable air purification systems.


Infinite Cooling

This MIT spin-out is on a mission to mitigate water scarcity around the world. Over 39% percent of water in the US is used in manufacturing sites and power plants. Much of this water leaves the facilities via high-density water vapor from industrial cooling towers. Infinite Cooling's technology uses electric fields to attract and then collect water from the plumes leaving cooling towers. The closed loop water system enables water reuse at industrial facilities and reduces water treatment needs, cutting plant water consumption by up to 20 percent and eliminating visible plumes. Infinite Cooling has raised $12.25 million in a Series A funding round.



This startup is cutting the cost of owning an air conditioner by more than half, using a combination of novel materials and hardware designs. The MIT spinout has innovated a wholly new way for removing humidity and heat from air that is vastly more energy efficient.  Its prototype uses a highly porous class of materials called MOFs (metal organic frameworks) to passively collect moisture from air. Traditional air conditioners, in contrast, use an evaporator, or a cold coil to pull water out of the air through condensation.



PlenOptika seeks to correct the issue of poor vision around the world. With its handheld autorefractor the QuickSee™, PlenOptika is making it easier for all vision care providers to give quick and accurate prescriptions or measurements to aid those with distance-or-near-vision impairment. In environments with limited access to optometrists and clinical equipment, the QuickSee enables faster point of care for people to obtain eyeglasses and improve their vision.



A spin-out from MIT Professor Cullen Buie’s laboratory, Kytopen is accelerating the delivery of gene transfers to existing cells by leveraging the influence of electrical fields on outer cellular envelopes. Kytopen’s research and technology has yielded the development of a system that simplifies the process of injecting nucleic acid into cells using ex vivo engineering. The procedure, known as Flowfect™, uses continuous fluid flow, electric fields, and automation to make gene transfer faster and more efficient. Kytopen has now raised $30 million in Series A funding.

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