Alaska Seed Fund winners announced

By Sam Davenport

Ben Kellie received $20,000 from the Alaska Seed Fund for his business, The Launch Company. (Photo by Ciara Zervantian)

Ben Kellie received $20,000 from the Alaska Seed Fund for his business, The Launch Company. (Photo by Ciara Zervantian)

Last month, ten businesses were awarded funding from the Alaska Seed Fund, which helps innovators with prototyping their inventions and products.

Wells Fargo and the 49th State Angel Fund each donated $25,000 each to the Fund. The winner, The Launch Company, received $20,000; second place contender Aquagga received $10,000. The leftover funds were distributed to the remaining awardees.

Meet the awardees:

The Launch Company specializes in launch requirements, development of CONOPs, trade studies, design of custom hardware, schematics and more for all your rocket-launching needs. Founder Ben Kellie said in an interview with the Alaska Seed Fund that the funding will allow them to “continue furthering development of our line of quick connects fittings which are designed, built, tested and shipped from right here in Alaska.”

Aquagga — Many Alaskans in rural areas face issues with water sanitation and desalination. Co-founder Jonathan Kamler created a patented 3D-printed solution that simultaneously cleans, sanitizes and desalinates wastewater.

Legalverse — Founder Jeff Levin created a solution for lawyers handling document review. Legalverse allows users to upload and import any digital document, which is then converted to a singular format. This allows users to search through a document and find information quickly and accurately, as opposed to individually searching through a handful of documents across different platforms.

The Fungi Alliance — The cost of current cleanup efforts in remote sites is extremely high — that’s why Jacqueline Summers is working with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship to naturally bioremediate contaminated soil.

Ramper Innovations — Being a ramper for an airline company takes a physical toll on the body, so founder Tim Fulton created Ramper Innovations. His product improves cargo loading and solves issues for air carriers and passengers alike. Fulton was recently recognized for his efforts at the Alaska Angel Conference, where he was awarded a $100,000 investment.

Omega Grid — Fresh off their investment from the Launch Alaska business accelerator, Omega Grid provides software that turns electric grids into a safe and local energy market platform. Founder Killian Tobin says their platform incorporates blockchain technology, decreasing risks that could be found in traditional market software.

Gennaker Systems — Bradley Pizzimenti is developing autonomous drones capable of flying between remote villages and their regional hubs. Gennaker Systems’ hybrid electric-gas powered drones are more suited for Arctic weather as opposed to solely electric-powered devices.

RestAngles — Founder Candy FitzPatrick designed RestAngles — a portable footrest — that addresses the needs of individuals who experience pain while sitting. The product can be used while traveling, in the office or in everyday life.

Alpine Fit Alpine Fit, an Alaska-based apparel company, creates active wear made from recycled and responsibly-sourced materials. Founder Jennifer Loofbourrow recently launched her official collection, with more products coming this month.

Threat Informant — Established in 2015 by Matthew Peters, Threat Informant provides cyber-security solutions to Alaska. Threat Informant is further developing its OmniSIEM products to provide a low-cost solution that works well with networks with low-bandwidth.

The Alaska Seed Fund is a collaboration between the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization and the Alaska Small Business Development Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute.