America’s Seed Fund Week is a series of virtual events that constitute a coordinated outreach effort to connect entrepreneurs developing new technologies and the organizations that support them to the country’s greatest source of early-stage investment.
Thousands of startups, small businesses, innovators, and other members of the innovation ecosystem support system attend this free and virtual opportunity for small businesses to learn about non-dilutive funding available through America’s Seed Fund, which awards $4 billion annually to small businesses for R&D.
In 2023, America’s Seed Fund Week and Startup Expo were conducted concurrently. Startup Expo is an exhibition of creative firms that leverage technology produced by America’s Seed Fund. Some of the most inventive early firms exhibited their technologies and shared their experiences working with America’s Seed Fund at Startup Expo 2023.
Let’s look at some outstanding companies that had opportunities to showcase at 2023 Startup Expo.
necoTECH – Redefine the Method to Take Care of the Nation
necoTECH, founded in 2029 by Steve Flaherty, is on a mission to change the way we care for our nation’s infrastructure in a more efficient and sustainable manner, dynamically changing the way it is installed and operated!
The organization focuses on developing more environmentally friendly materials as well as leveraging innovative equipment and data-capturing technologies to improve performance, increase safety, and make our infrastructure more sustainable for future generations!
The company’s key advantage lies in its strategic relationships with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and commercial partners, enabling the company to deploy its proven system for dual-use market commercialization. With over $2M in funding through government contracts, necoTech develops autonomous maintenance solutions for the DoD while aiming for commercial viability.
Furthermore, the supernova establishes revenue-producing business units, such as 100% recycled asphalt production plants, contributing to its growth and sustainability. This multifaceted approach maximizes the startup’s impact in defense and commercial sectors, driving innovation and profitability.
Their key set of products includes: necoPave which improves sustainability in asphalt for paving, runways, roofing, and more; necoCrete that designs and develops stronger, lighter, and more sustainable forms of concrete; necoPlastics that helps recycle plastic for use in infrastructure and building materials and necoWaste to divert more than 90% of municipal solid waste from landfills for reuse.
As a pioneer in its industry, necoTech has successfully raised $50,000 in two rounds of funding. The most current round, an Equity Crowdfunding campaign, ended on February 4, 2022, increasing their financial resources even further.
necoTECH’s funding endeavors have been supported by the Vogt Awards, a prestigious organization known for backing innovative and promising ventures.
AlchLight – New York Advanced Material and Fabrication
Headquartered in Rochester, New York, AlchLight is an expert in innovative and proprietary ultrafast laser material processing and production.
Since its inception in 2016, the firm has been actively researching new materials and coatings for a wide range of applications, including improved optical transmission and absorption, heat management, solar energy harvesting, anti-corrosion, anti-icing, and improved cleanliness.
Members of the company pioneered laser surface processing technologies that can enhance the qualities of ordinary materials, such as super-hydrophobicity, super-hydrophilicity, full- or partial-spectrum absorption, radiation, and reflection.
Their technologies provide enhanced materials performance and enable cutting-edge applications in a wide range of industries spanning from aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, defense, energy, materials, optics, and health care.
This company launched a line of creative products that were meant to captivate and astound. For instance, the Floating Metal Toy is made up of a wonderful metal tube that defies gravity, bringing hours of enjoyment for both children and adults.
The Superhydrophobic Surface, on the other hand, minimizes drag while also providing anti-fogging and anti-icing qualities and keeping windows, cameras, and detectors clear. Not to mention Black Metals, a cutting-edge hybrid technology that functions as a perfect metallic absorber and emitter, as well as temperature sensors and detectors. These are just some of the most exceptional products that AlchLight delivered.
Throughout their being, the leader has successfully raised $225K in a single round of fundraising. This funding round, which took place on June 28, 2017, was in the form of a grant.
The National Science Foundation, a famous organization known for its commitment to furthering scientific research and innovation, has supported AlchLight’s funding efforts. With the backing of the National Science Foundation, AlchLight is able to continue its groundbreaking work and drive advancements in their field.
Allied Microbiota – Break Down Harmful Organic Chemicals
Allied Microbiota, LLC, founded in 2016 by Frana James and Ray Sambrotto, is a unique biotechnology firm producing a family of microbial products and enzymes to break down toxic organic compounds faster and more affordably than current remediation solutions.
AMB was founded on Columbia University technology, which is presently being developed into AMB’s first product, PacBac.
PacBac is a microbial-based remediation solution that can rapidly lower the levels of resistant toxins in soil without the need of energy-intensive incineration technologies, possibly disrupting the $20 billion soil-remediation industry.
When compared to conventional remediation technologies, the company provides cost reductions of up to 80%, and its protocol may eliminate problematic contaminants like poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCB) by 80% in days.
This treatment is faster than expensive incineration and, unlike the usage of a dwindling number of designated landfills, it destroys toxins so that they are no longer a liability.
Respectably, the startup has an active R&D program for identifying novel strains and developing new bio-products through high throughput screening, synthetic biology, proteomics, data science, and analytical chemistry.
Through three rounds of funding, Allied Microbiota has successfully raised a total of $1.2 million. Their most recent funding came from a Seed round on October 28, 2020. IndieBio and the National Science Foundation were among the major investors in this round.
IndieBio, a well-known accelerator and seed-stage entrepreneurial fund, and the National Science Foundation, which is known for funding scientific research and innovation, have both recognized the potential of Allied Microbiota’s work and invested in the company.
With this support, Allied Microbiota is going to be enabled to further develop and enhance their revolutionary microbiota technology.
EarthSense – Agricultural Intelligence for A Sustainable Planet
Agriculture’s reliance on capital-intensive technology, synthetic chemicals, and simplified farming processes has resulted from a shortage of skilled labor.
This has resulted in a number of negative outcomes from present agriculture, including negative effects on the environment, food quality, and farmer profitability. Furthermore, the increasing unpredictability of weather and the frequency of catastrophic weather events threaten our ability to provide food security to the world’s growing population.
It was reasonable enough for Chinmay Soman and Girish Chowdhary to create EarthSense to take on these problems.
The business has created an agricultural robotics and artificial intelligence platform with three primary applications: developing the next generation of more productive and sustainable crops, assisting growers in obtaining actionable intelligence from their fields, and controlling problems such as herbicide resistant weeds.
The platform is designed to be modular and easily extendable, allowing others to quickly contribute to the next generation of robots and AI technology. As a result, the agricultural AI platform will allow for a climate-smart agricultural system, improved plant and soil health, and a reduction in the usage of chemicals and other costly inputs.
EarthSense has raised a total of $2.4M in funding through a series of nine rounds, with their latest funding round completed on November 17, 2021, in a Grant round.
This funding round saw the participation of eight investors, including prominent organizations such as the Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative and ADB Ventures. These recent investments highlight the confidence and recognition that EarthSense has garnered for its groundbreaking work.
With the financial support from these investors, the company will be empowered to further advance its innovative solutions aimed at promoting sustainable agriculture practices. The company remains committed to its mission of making a positive impact on the environment and driving the adoption of regenerative and environmentally friendly agricultural techniques.
PediaMetrix – Brings AI To Pediatric Health for Performance and Cost Optimization
Pediatricians, who are on the front lines, currently do not have access to any technology for measuring head shape characteristics and must rely solely on visual assessment. If concerned, they refer parents to specialists where they use certain tools such as a craniometer or a 3D scanner.
This can lead to costly and extensive treatment alternatives such as helmet therapy (for non-synostotic head abnormalities) or open surgery vs. minimally invasive surgery (for synostotic instances). That’s the driving force behind the birth of PediaMetrix in 2018
The company was founded by husband-and-wife duo, Freya (Fereshteh) Aalamifar, PhD, and Reza Seifabadi in, PhD based on a personal experience with their child.
SoftSpot, created by the company, is the first and only FDA-cleared mobile app for cranial measurement and evaluation at the point of care. It allows for the early detection and management of common neonatal diseases characterized by aberrant head shape, such as plagiocephaly, brachycephaly, and craniosynostosis.
SoftSpot2D is currently accessible in the US market for patients with deformational plagiocephaly and brachycephaly (DPB). DPB is the most prevalent cranial malformation, affecting 20-30% of babies in the United States. To deliver SoftSpot to patients, PediaMetrix collaborates with several key distribution channels and partners.
The startup is also working with worldwide medical device distributors and regulatory experts, as well as exhibiting at tradeshows, to introduce SoftSpot to the international market. Furthermore, PediaMetrix remains focused on the next generation of the tool, SoftSpot3D, which will allow for a full evaluation of the head for practically all diseases, including craniosynostosis.
Until now, there has not been a tool available to the point-of-care for 3D scan of the head in an economic and user-friendly way. PediaMetrix will use AI solutions to democratize access to 3D scans of the head shape using a smartphone and give a decision assistance tool for physicians and providers.
During their lifetime, the startup has secured a total of $3.8M in funding across eight rounds. Their most recent funding round, a Grant round, was successfully concluded on August 9, 2022. The company has attracted investments from three prominent investors, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, both of which are renowned for their support of scientific research and innovation.
PediaMetrix is well positioned to continue advancing its novel solutions in the field with the support of these new investors. Their emphasis on pediatric healthcare and innovative technologies has the potential to significantly improve children’s health outcomes.
IsoTruss – Build the Sustainable Infrastructure of the Future
Founded by Nathan D. Rich in 2025 with the goal of creating the future’s sustainable infrastructure, IsoTruss provides creative, durable, and sustainable applications and solutions through continuous innovation in R&D, engineering, design, and production.
The IsoTruss is a one-of-a-kind geometric arrangement based on 2-dimensional and/or 3-dimensional equilateral or isosceles triangular sections made up of unidirectional composite elements.
Overall, the IsoTruss blends high-performance continuous fiber reinforced polymer composite materials (such as carbon, glass, aramid, etc.) with a very efficient geometry to allow those elements to carry the load efficiently, permitting exceptionally lightweight and extremely high-performance structures.
They develop patented IsoTruss lattice cell towers for the telecommunications industry and other uses as a provider of engineering, design, and manufacturing services. IsoTruss composite cell towers are lightweight, durable, cost-effective, corrosion-resistant, sustainable, and environmentally benign.
IsoTruss differs from other materials on the market in that the technology may be deployed in a wide variety of industries, including aircraft, recreation, construction, and telecommunications infrastructure.
Their internal technological advancement is the result of combining composite materials with a lattice framework. Composite materials are lightweight, stiff, long-lasting, and resistant to corrosion.
The company geometry further adds benefit to the composite materials by additional weight reduction, low drag force, and damage resistance. In certain applications, the reduced material use and prolonged product lifetime result in up to a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions over the lifetime.
IsoTruss Industries LLC has successfully raised a total of $9.7M in funding across five rounds. Their most recent funding, obtained through a Grant round, was secured on July 11, 2022. IsoTruss Industries LLC has attracted investments from four notable investors, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the S.G. Koenig Trust, who have recognized the potential of the company’s unique offerings.
With the support of these recent investors, IsoTruss Industries LLC is well-positioned to further develop and advance their innovative technologies. Their focus on structural solutions promises to revolutionize various industries, making a lasting impact on construction and engineering.
Examining the names featured in this article, it becomes evident that they are tackling some of the most pressing global challenges of our time.
Undoubtedly, new materials, agriculture, artificial intelligence (AI), and climate change are among the most complex obstacles we face. Fortunately, companies like these instill confidence that we are making progress in addressing these issues. Whilst the problems may persist, the efforts of these innovative companies give us hope that solutions are being developed and implemented to tackle them head-on.