Carolina Launch Pad welcomes Rheomics, Inc.


From left to right, Russell Taylor, Ph.D., Richard Spero, Ph.D. and Richard Superfine, Ph.D.

CHAPEL HILL, NC—Carolina Launch Pad, the pre-commercial technology business accelerator located at RENCI (the Renaissance Computing Institute), this month welcomed Rheomics Inc. to the program.

Rheomics builds systems that fuel the mechanical revolution in biology, and will lead to diagnostics of clotting disorders and cancer metastasis. The company’s patented technologies make it possible to pull on blood clots, individual cells, or small particles—the size of a bacterium or smaller—with precise forces. Rheomics sees a market opportunity for this technology in new cancer diagnostics, point-of-care blood clotting analysis, biofluid rheology and lab instruments to advance biological research.

Rheomics was founded by Richard Superfine, Ph.D., a professor in the department of physics and astronomy, Russell Taylor, Ph.D., a professor in computer science with a joint appointment in physics and astronomy, and Richard Spero, Ph.D, a post doctoral associate in the physics and astronomy department.

The company is licensing UNC technology developed by the Center for Computer-Integrated Systems for Microscopy and Manipulation, an NIH-funded national resource led by Superfine and Taylor, that conducts biophysics research and builds and disseminates bioinstrumentation. Also working with Rheomics is Suresh Balu, an experienced entrepreneur with a background in product and market strategy, management consulting, and investments.

“In the next decade, systems that quickly measure the stiffness and viscosity of blood clots, biofluids, and cancer cells will be instrumental to the diagnosis and treatment of disease,” said Superfine. “We can’t wait to introduce our first product in this emerging area of biomedical instrumentation. Carolina Launch Pad is the perfect environment for Rheomics to continue developing its technology and refining its go-to-market strategy.”

Carolina Launch Pad targets Carolina faculty, staff and students who want to turn their technological inventions and ideas into viable businesses and have not yet developed their ideas into funded start-ups. The program began in January 2009 as a partnership involving RENCI, the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Technology Development (OTD) and UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Each Launch Pad participant receives office space for one year at RENCI headquarters at 100 Europa Drive in Chapel Hill. The entrepreneurs have the chance to collaborate with RENCI’s world-class technology experts, attended RENCI lectures and events, and receive help in developing logos and websites. In addition, professionals with OTD, the business school and from the Triangle IT community provide coaching and mentoring to the entrepreneurs in partnership with UNC’s Launching the Venture program.

“Our selection committee all agreed that Rheomics has excellent potential to succeed as a new business coming out of the Carolina talent pool,” said David Knowles, RENCI’s director of economic development and engagement. “They are a great addition to the program and will contribute to the creative and entrepreneurial atmosphere of the Launch Pad and to the growing culture of innovation at Carolina.”

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Carolina Launchpad supports the Innovate@Carolina Roadmap, UNC’s plan to help Carolina become a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society. To learn more about the roadmap, visit http://innovate.unc.edu.