Local Companies KynderMed and Sensatek Propulsion Technology Inc., Named Winners of Innovation Park’s 2017 TechGrant Program

Five local early stage companies competed for a chance to win one of two technology commercialization grants worth up to $15,000 at Innovation Park’s Annual Elevator Pitch Night


The Leon County Research and Development Authority (LCRDA), the entity that governs Innovation Park of Tallahassee, is pleased to announce that KynderMed and Sensatek Propulsion Technology Inc., have been named the 2017 winners of the Innovation Park TechGrant Program.

KynderMed, who has developed a sleep mask to help prevent preterm birth in pregnant women, took home the 1stprize of $15,000.  KynderMed will use this grant to help get through the next round of FDA clinical trials

Leon County R&D Executive Director, Ron Miller (right) awarded President of KynderMed, Melanie Simmons (left) with a plaque at Innovation Park’s Elevator Pitch Night on May 17th.

Leon County R&D Executive Director, Ron Miller (right) awarded President of KynderMed, Melanie Simmons (left) with a plaque at Innovation Park’s Elevator Pitch Night on May 17th.

Melanie Simmons, PhD, the President and CEO of KynderMed, said, “We are thrilled and honored to receive this recognition of KynderMed’s double bottom line – saving babies and making money for our local investors. This is a local company, based on local science that will have a global impact improving the quality of people’s lives by preventing preterm birth. So many organizations and people in Leon County have supported us.  We want to give back by expanding KynderMed’s presence in the county as we move forward.  The Tech Grant funds we received will enable us to complete the development of the device for our FDA clinical trials, allowing us to accelerate our journey to meeting the needs of millions of women who are at-risk of preterm birth.”

Sensatek Propulsion Technology Inc., who has developed wireless sensors for gas turbines to help reduce downtime and costly repairs of turbines, took home the second prize of $10,000. Sensatak will use their grant to develop a digital demonstration of their product, which can lead to working with Fortune Global 500 Companies like Siemens Energy.

“I’m very grateful to our community for their overwhelming support. Now through the help of the $10,000 tech grant, we can make greater strides with our resource partners to build the technical capabilities needed to take our technology to market,” remarked Reamonn Soto, Founder and Product and Business Manager of Sensatek Propulsion Technology, Inc.

These grants were awarded during Innovation Park’s annual TechGrant Elevator Pitch Night, which was co-presented this year by Hancock Bank and Danfoss Turbocor. The event took place on Wednesday, May 17th at Goodwood Museum and Gardens.  More than 100 Tallahassee Business and Community Leaders gathered to watch five companies compete for a chance to win one of these grants.  The other local companies who pitched included Axion Technologies LLC, Command Media LLC and WeatherTiger.

“The quality of applicants for the TechGrant continues to improve tremendously, and reflects the amazing focus the community has on providing resources to help build businesses. “stated Ron Miller, Executive Director of the Leon County R&D Authority.  “There is a growing continuum of technology commercialization resources including the FSU Gap Grant funding for moving early stage university inventions to more marketable products, the Innovation Park Entrepreneurial Excellence Program for early stage business training, the TechGrant for early commercialization stages, and DOMI Station for business incubation—just to name a few.”

Since the TechGrant Program began in 2005, Innovation Park has given away $412,000 to 24 different Tallahassee based companies.  This was the sixth year hosting the event’s Elevator Pitch Night. The TechGrant is available to all those in the Leon County Community, who are commercializing a technology that can produce high-wage tech jobs and promote economic development locally.

We are grateful for all of our sponsors. Without their generosity, we could not make Elevator Pitch Night a success. This year’s sponsors included Hancock Bank, Danfoss Turbocor, Lewis, Longman and Walker, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Parker Services Air Conditioning and Heating, NAI Talcor, Brown & Brown Insurance, Salter>Mitchell PR, Sachs Media Group, Bowstern Communications, Moore Communications Group, North Public Relations, Broad and Cassel, Heinz Nurseries and Six Pillars Financial Advisors.


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