Stacktronic, a Mechanical Engineering team, addresses the unfilled market for high-convenience battery packs with minimal user design and integration effort. Small companies, design teams, and research groups are increasingly in need of high-voltage, energy-dense, mobile power sources at relatively low production volumes per configuration. Existing solutions require custom engineering at high expense and long lead times, or are of low quality and require significant work on the part of the user.
Vena Medical, founded in 2016, is based in Waterloo, Ontario and has three employees. It has completed a high-fidelity prototype and are undertaking its first animal study at the Cardiovascular Research Lab of the Texas Heart Institute, while they attend the Houston-based Texas Medical Center Innovation accelerator program. In November 2017, they opened their first seed round of $1.5 million USD.
Oxygen is critical to most forms of life on earth. When things go awry because of medical issues such chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, sleep apnea, cystic fibrosis, chronic asthma, pneumonia or heart disease, patients need supplementary oxygen. We’ve all seen people dragging around a cart holding heavy cartridge of oxygen just so they can breathe; it’s cumbersome and oxygen bottles take up significant space. To combat this, Viva Spire has developed a lightweight oxygen assist solution that is easily worn like a tiny back pack. Building on their proof of concept, with the help of their Engineer of the Future funding, VivaSpire, is refining their technology into a workable prototype.
VivaSpire is on track to reach its goals of establishing 92% oxygen concentration via in-lab tests (up from 60% just a few months ago) and has won several significant funding pitch events over the last year. It has also identified and verified other non-medical markets for its oxygen generator including amateur racing and home brewing (both industries that use oxygen injection). The team is thinking big (because that’s how global success is achieved) - VivaSpire could be used for underwater oxygen generation and perhaps one day supply oxygen to people living on Mars.