Compass Demo Day to Showcase Deep Tech Startups

Designed for early-stage startups and technologies, Compass draws on expertise from across the University ecosystem with the goal of preparing startups to be investor-ready at the conclusion of the six-month program. (Image:

Polsky Science Ventures and the Compass deep tech accelerator team at the University of Chicago are hosting a “demo day” to highlight innovative research and technologies across the life sciences, artificial intelligence, and quantum technologies space.

“We are incredibly proud to showcase cohort three of the Compass, which was launched last year to provide support to researchers at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory who are working to commercialize their early-stage research,” said Bill Payne, executive director of science and technology at the Polsky Center.

        >> Register for the Compass Demo Day, here.

The fully virtual event will take place on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm (CT) and also will feature quick pitches from Cohort 4.

Presenting Cohort 3 startups include:

  • 4SR Biosciences // 4SR Biosciences has developed technology that uses next-gen sequencing to study tRNAs at higher throughput and greater resolution. In addition to quantifying tRNA expression, this technology can simultaneously measure charging (amino acylation), post-transcriptional modifications, fragmentation, and co-expression with other small RNAs. 4SR Biosciences aims to develop a tRNA-based biomarker screening platform for diagnostic and therapeutic innovations. The company recently was accepted into the prestigious Illumina Accelerator in the San Francisco Bay area.
  • AIccelerate // AIccelerate uses proprietary software to convert machine learning algorithms into the hardware equivalent, which customers can deploy in low cost, power-efficient, and widely available chips (FPGAs). Algorithms are converted in just a few minutes, intelligently optimizing the FPGA configuration for the best accuracy and execution speed – removing the need for expensive engineering resources and reducing development cycles from 3/6 months to a few minutes. AIccelerate enables customers to use complex and accurate models in real-time applications for time-sensitive applications, like autonomous vehicles or Internet-of-Things.
  • Concilio // Concilio is developing a therapeutic nanoparticle platform using a targeted polyelectrolyte complex micelle that delivers nucleotides to inflamed tissues with higher precision and enhanced efficacy. The modularity of the technology allows for the presentation of a variety of different cell targeting mechanisms on the micelle corona and to encapsulate various types of nucleotides in the micelle core thus making for a versatile platform to target numerous fibrotic and inflammatory diseases. Concilio is targeting cardiovascular indications – Arteriovenous fistula (AVF) failure and stenosis/restenosis as first to market.
  • memQ // memQ is developing quantum repeaters using a wafer-scale platform based on erbium-doped oxides to enable quantum communication between computers at distances orders of magnitude greater than what is available today. The relevant properties of its thin films are comparable to that of the bulk and can be fabricated into nanophotonic devices without degradation of qubit properties. These are devices with high Q and modest Purcell factor (a key metric of device quality) and have the engineerability of coherence time – a key metric for quantum memories. The device aims to allow for completely un-hackable communication protocols at distances spanning 1,000s of kilometers.

“We are also excited to give a quick preview of the upcoming Compass cohort during two-minute quick pitches,” said Kim Kieras, associate director of the Compass and science programs at Polsky. Cohort 4 includes Alnair Therapeutics, FLOW Medical, INOFA, and Lismikro, as well as guest participant, TRACER, from Argonne National Laboratory.

“Though the program is only beginning its second year, we have already seen incredible successes from participating startups,” added Shyama Majumdar, associate director of Polsky Science Ventures. “Of note, HeioThera, ReAx Biotechnologies, and most recently, memQ have all gone on to receive the George Schultz Innovation Fund award, which provides up to $250,000 in co-investment funding for early-stage tech ventures. A participant in cohort two, Phlaxis also went on to take second place at the New Venture Challenge last year, and received more than $388,000 in investment, including a $40,000 Moonshot Prize that recognizes unique technologies to solve global challenges.”

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