FAPESP Innovative R&D – Nanox Tecnologia is one of 15 startups selected among 1,000 worldwide to participate in a business acceleration program offered in Silicon Valley by the Plug and Play global innovation platform.
Dropbox, PayPal, Danger and Lending Club are among the many well-established corporations that were once startups participating in a Plug and Play accelerator program.
Selected in the categories of New Materials and Food & Beverage, Nanox has developed a bactericidal and antimicrobial solution for use in plastic packaging or PVC film to increase product shelf life. The development of the technology in its various stages was supported by FAPESP’s Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE).
The program begins this half and lasts three months. Nanox’s executives will take part in business development exercises mentored by prestigious colleagues including PepsiCo, Lavazza, Sherwin Williams, Tyson Food, and DuPont Ventures.
“At the end of this period, we’ll make a four-minute pitch to investors and large corporations that are prospecting for technology. We’ll have a booth at the event for networking and to demo our product,” says Gustavo Simões, co-founder and CEO of Nanox.
The chance to participate in a Silicon Valley accelerator program has come at the right time. “We embarked on an internationalization process in 2016 after winning FDA approval for the sale of packaging additives in the US,” Simões recalls. Nanox has a branch in Boston and will start shipping the bactericidal product as soon as it is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “The accelerator program will increase our visibility on the US market,” Simões says.
The nanotechnology company is a spinoff from the Center for Development of Functional Materials (CDMF), one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) funded by FAPESP. The company was founded in 2004 in São Carlos, São Paulo State.
In 2005, the startup submitted its first project to PIPE-FAPESP for the development of technology to coat metallic materials with ceramic films containing silver nanoparticles that give them anti-abrasive and bactericidal properties.
In 2011, the product was ready to be marketed, and Nanox won funding from the PIPE/PAPPE program, a partnership between FAPESP and FINEP, the Brazilian government’s innovation agency, to ramp up the production of nanostructured anti-microbial particles.
In 2015, the company again won funding from PIPE, this time for a project to develop nanostructured fungicidal materials.
Nanox has received investment from venture capitalists Jardim Botânico Partners (Novarum), won the FINEP Technological Innovation Award (2007), and attracted customers such as Taiff (hair dryers), Tapetes São Carlos (carpets) and Dabi Atlante (dental chairs), among others.
Nanox received the invitation to participate in the Plug and Play selection process in July. “We appeared on the global innovation platform’s radar when DairyReporter.com republished a news story about us that was originally published in the English-language edition of Agência FAPESP’s newsletter,” Simões says. “We were invited to register with the platform, and to our surprise, we were selected.”