Print
Technology

MARBIONC Startup Receives State Innovation Grant

By Jenny Callison, posted Dec 3, 2014
A young biotechnology company in Wilmington is one of 13 recipients of North Carolina innovation grants announced Wednesday by Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. commerce secretary Sharon Decker.
 
Seatox Research Inc., located at University of North Carolina Wilmington’s MARBIONC facility, was awarded $50,000 to support its efforts to develop an efficient, faster way to detect marine neurotoxins. The company was the sole grant recipient located outside the Triangle area.
 
Seatox CEO Jennifer McCall said her startup applied for a state grant shortly after getting word that it had received a federal Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award to prove Seatox researchers’ concept. Recipients of the state innovation grants must have either a federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or STTR grant. STTR grants support development of commercially viable concepts that emerge from university research facilities.
 
The state grants, McCall said, expand the capabilities of small businesses by supplementing their federal grants.
 
“They are more flexible than the federal grants in terms of how the money can be used,” she said. “We are planning to invest it in capital equipment that will expand our analytic capabilities, which will allow us to compete for future grants and, hopefully expand.”
 
Seatox, which moved into a one-bay laboratory at MARBIONC earlier this fall, is working to develop tests to detect the presence of marine toxins that can be ingested by shellfish, causing paralysis and death and contamination of the seafood supply, according to McCall.
 
“These toxins are naturally occurring, but there has been an increase and science seems to point to a human cause [for the increase],” she said.
 
Current tests are “tedious and slow,” McCall said, adding that, if Seatox is successful in creating faster ways to test, it would be a boon to fishermen as well as to seafood consumers.
 
In addition to McCall, the company team consists of her husband, Sam, the COO, and Andrea Bourdelais, a research associate professor at UNCW, who acts as Seatox’s university partner. The McCalls began their discovery process while Jennifer McCall was a post-doc at UNCW.
 
The state’s innovation grants, which totaled $640,448, came from the One North Carolina Small Business Fund, the governor’s news release stated.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Jane

It’s Child’s Play

Jane Morrow - Smart Start of New Hanover County
Jimheadshot

The Wilmington Construction Market: Trends, Recognition, and Challenges

Jim Hundley - Thomas Construction Group
Gretchen roberts 2021

5 Finance Topics Every Small Business Owner Should Master

Gretchen Roberts - Red Bike Advisors

Trending News

Riverlights Could Add 73 More Townhomes To Mix, Site Plans Show

Staff Reports - Apr 18, 2024

Game Over For Michael Jordan Museum At Project Grace

Audrey Elsberry - Apr 19, 2024

City Approvals Push Forward Plans For Former Wilmington Fire Stations

Emma Dill - Apr 17, 2024

Surf City Embarks On Park’s Construction

Cece Nunn - Apr 19, 2024

Taking Marine Science On The Road

Lynda Van Kuren - Apr 19, 2024

In The Current Issue

Info Junkie: Lydia Thomas

Lydia Thomas, program manager for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UNCW, shares her top info and tech picks....


Bootstrapping A Remote Option

Michelle Penczak, who lives in Pender County, built her own solution with Squared Away, her company that now employs over 400 virtual assist...


Surf City Embarks On Park’s Construction

“Our little town, especially the mainland area, is growing by leaps and bounds. So having somewhere else besides the beach for kids to go an...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season