The outlook is a little greener for five biotech and clean-energy startup companies thanks to half a million dollars in seed money from Accelerate Long Island and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund.

Goddard Labs, Green Sulfcrete, PolyNova, SynchroPET and Traverse Biosciences each received a $50,000 grant from Accelerate Long Island’s Seed Fund and a matching $50,000 grant from the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund, which is a collaboration of Topspin Partners and Jove Equity Partners.

“Our initial investments are in five promising startup companies that are based on technology invented at world-class research institutions, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University,” Mark Lesko, Accelerate Long Island’s executive director, said in a statement. “These investments could not have happened without support from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, Empire State Development, and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund. Today is an important milestone in our joint efforts to create an innovation-based economy on Long Island.”

Lesko said that more than 150 tech startup companies have been identified on the Island and 35 of them have made pitches for seed funding from his group and the emerging technologies fund. So far only these five companies have made the cut.

“The LIETF and the Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund conducted due diligence on the startup companies before making the investments, including consulting scientific experts regarding the technologies and assessing intellectual property status,” Lesko explained.

“These startup companies all have significant potential to commercialize research advancements in their respective fields,” Leo Guthart, Topspin Partners’ founder and CEO, said in a press release. “Topspin Partners is pleased to participate in this seed fund effort to support the commercialization of cutting-edge research.”

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“We created the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund with the goal of starting and building new companies that will help shape Long Island’s future by commercializing technology developed at our local research institutions,”  David Calone, co-founder of the LIETF and CEO of Jove Equity Partners, said in a press release. “With these first investments, we are implementing our plan to use seed funding to create jobs and to jumpstart the development of Long Island-based research-oriented tech companies.”

Stony Brook University’s Calverton Incubator is the home of Goddard Labs, which is developing a novel molecular diagnostics technology that tests for food-borne pathogens in the agricultural industry. Green Sulfcrete, a spinout from a Brookhaven National Laboratory technology, is planning to commercialize an environmentally friendly sulfur-based concrete. PolyNova, a collaboration between Stony Brook University and the University of Arizona, is producing a prosthetic heart valve made out of a new polymer material. SynchroPET, a Brookhaven National Laboratory technology startup, is launching a next-generation positron emission technology (PET) scanner with multiple applications in the health field. And, last but not least, Traverse Biosciences, a Stony Brook University company, hopes to market an edible prescription medication for the prevention and control of canine periodontal disease, which affects approximately 80 percent of dogs over the age of two.

“By receiving support from Accelerate LI and the LIETF, Goddard Labs will be able to translate our research into a viable product,” said Noel Goddard, founder and CEO of Goddard Labs. “Without this vital seed funding and the support that Goddard Labs has received from the entire Stony Brook University community, the task of building a tech startup company would have been extremely difficult.”

Joseph Scaduto, founder and CEO of Traverse Biosciences, expressed his gratitude for the help his fledgling company has received.

“We sincerely appreciate the financial support, indispensable mentorship and strategic guidance provided by Accelerate Long Island and the LIETF, as well as the Center for Biotechnology,” Scaduto said in a statement. “We are grateful for their commitment to the burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region, along with their vision for the development of high technology industry clusters that will fuel the future economy.”


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Spencer Rumsey, the Long Island Press’ senior editor, has worked on dailies, weeklies and monthlies, including New York Newsday and the New York Post, the East Village Eye and the supermarket tabloid Star Magazine. Starting at the Press in 2010, he’s written award-winning stories on planning, politics and policy, to name a few topics, and he’s taken on a wide range of targets in his Press blog, Rumsey Punch.