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By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

BioInspira harnesses biology to transform modern industry infrastructure by providing remote sensor networks for chemical leak detection, so that there will be no waste generated from the use of earth’s valuable resources everywhere. Such engineering marvel, if successful, will also provide unprecedented data and insight to everyone, and lead to a safe and smart world.

We create bio-based chemical sensor with receptors designed to bind to target chemicals with high selectivity. This design process is well developed in the pharmaceutical industry, and can enable us to develop arrays of sensors with high accuracy toward many different chemical compounds within only ?2?-?3? months. Our first product is a sensor-enabling detection grid for natural gas leaks, providing 24/7 remote monitoring to help natural gas industry recoup the annual $5B value of lost gas leaking from their infrastructure.

How are you different?

We are? ?leveraging? ??genetic? ?engineering for air chemical detection, different from all other existing sensing technologies. The technology is patent pending. Our proprietary sensor outperforms existing semiconductor-based sensors by three orders of magnitude and creates new capabilities for early detection of leaks at a higher level of accuracy.

Why will the company / product do well?

Short answer is because we are providing what the customer wants. Prior to developing the product, we have talked to hundreds of industrial customers and experts on their work, as well as their needs. We then analyze the results from these interviews, and identified the key value points that we could provide to the customers that could solve their pain point. These pain points are not just everyday operations that the customers want improved, they are problems that persist and is costly or dangerous with the current solution, and they want a better solution right away. Because we have validated this product/market fit, we believe that the company/ product will do well.

Where are you based?

?Berkeley?

When was the company launched?

?June, 2014?

What have been your biggest wins to date?
?

Successfully raised a $1.3MM seed fund and secured two paid pilots from leading industry customers?

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

?Manufacturers, oil&gas, utilities, chemical plants, mining industry?

Tell us about your team?

BioInspira currently has three full time and one part time employee in the US. The team consist of: Benson Fan, Ray Chiu, Jimmy Leu, and Don Wang. Benson Fan, CTO, is currently leading the effort to address the technological challenges in bringing the phage colorimetric sensor to market. Ray Chiu, CEO, is leading the effort to commercialize phage colorimetric sensor for commercial application, and has in depth knowledge, as well as hands on experience in engineering challenges that arise in translating the innovation from the lab to a product suitable for industrial use. Jimmy Leu is the VP of hardware of BioInspira, and is leading programming and hardware engineering in BioInspira. He has more than 10 years of experience working in product development and software engineering. Don Wang, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, is an experience genetic and protein engineer, and have been involved in phage research for over 10 years, thus giving him the necessary technical expertise and experience to solve challenges that may arise in the sensor development, such as sensor fabrication and binding kinetics.

BioInspira has a well-rounded Board of Advisors who are dedicated in the success of the project. The board includes Ram Shenoy, Ph.D. (former CTO at ConocoPhillips, former Advisory Board to the US Secretary of Energy) Paul Wright, Ph.D. (A. Martin Berlin Chair in mechanical engineering, and director of the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute), Patrick Scalia (Co-founder of CITRIS Foundry, former executive and CTO of Hewlett Packard), Tom Chiu, an experienced Bay Area venture investor (venture partner at Enspire Capital, and member of Sand Hill Angels), and Seung-Wuk Lee, Ph.D. (professor in bioengineering at UC Berkeley and chief inventor of BioInspira’s technology).

What are you long term plans for your product / company?

?Our vision is to overhaul the sensor industry by providing a revolutionizing sensor platform with improved combined capabilities??. We plan to develop a super sensor array to expand our market from natural gas industry to ?other industries, and tap into markets such as healthcare for disease diagnosis and homeland security for trace explosives monitoring, etc.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

iPhones, smartwatches, sensors

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

?We are actively seeking strategy partners and beta customers for proof of concept field testings.

How do people get in touch with you?

Email: [email protected]
Our website: www.bioinspira.com
Twitter: [email protected]


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking