Texas Tech University

Groundbreaking Innovations Receive Boost: Innovation Hub Awards $55K to Startups for Prototype Advancement

Kathryn Dankesreiter, Marketing & Engagement Coordinator

November 30, 2023

Texas Tech Innovation Hub awards biotech, healthcare, and environmental technology startups funds to support their prototypes!

The Innovation Hub is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Prototype Fund. The four startups received a combined total of $55,000 to support the creation and development of their prototype.

The startups, led by West Texas community members and Texas Tech alumni, are developing innovative solutions in biotech, healthcare, and environmental technologies. These industries align with Texas Tech University System's vision and the OneHealth approach, emphasizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. 

“The Prototype Fund empowers entrepreneurs to pursue the next phase of their startup journey,” says Dr. Ganga Baskar, Program Director. “This is the moment that the dreamers become the doers. This funding provides the necessary support for startups to move forward, nurturing their innovative ideas into tangible realities."

For the seventh year in a row, faculty, students, and community entrepreneurs with established startups were given the opportunity to receive funding to develop a minimum viable product based on customer discovery and conclusions drawn from the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program. The Prototype Fund not only assists in the development of innovative technologies, but in the development of intellectual property and technology validation. The awardees are as follows:

Terra-Form, LLC ($25,000) | A new class of rammed earth machinery that will make sustainable building projects possible at a low cost. Utilizing an ancient building principle mixed with modern technology, their machines will produce high-quality rammed earth blocks (REB's) that can be used in a myriad of building applications across the globe. Terra-Form is pioneering a market opportunity to make rammed earth a sustainable alternative building standard in the US.

Team: Steve Guzman, CEO, and Jody Hicks, Vice President (TTUS Alumni).

NaMi Diagnostics ($15,000) | An early-stage biotech company, developing and commercializing company's unique, proprietary biosensing technology can rapidly detect sepsis with superior diagnostic accuracy at low cost.

Team: Ke Liu - CEO & Co-Founder (TTU Alumni).

MobilityZ Health ($10,000) | A Digital Health Software which helps Orthopedic Specialists to remotely diagnose, screen and monitor musculoskeletal injury patients.

Team: Sucheshna Patil – CEO & Founder (TTU Alumni).

HealthSurveil ($5,000) | A precision health tech startup based in Texas, developing solutions for chronic disease control through data-driven risk assessment, focusing on environmental exposures.

Team: Dushani Palliyaguru, CEO & Co-Founder, Nipuni Palliyguru, CTO & Co-Founder, and Sanka Liyanage, Chief Engineer (West Texas Community Entrepreneurs).