SoE Startup Based on Rutgers Invention Chosen Among Best University Startups

SoE is among two Rutgers inventions being presented on September 20 at University Startup Demo Day, an event in the U.S. Capitol Building for members of Congress and staff, as well as venture capitalists, angel investors and corporate representatives.

The two Rutgers spinouts are Celvive Inc., which is refining a stem-cell technology for regenerative medicine applications, such as helping patients recover from spinal cord injury, and XPEED Turbine Technology LLC, (XTT) which is developing aerodynamic technology that could reduce the cost of wind energy by improving wind turbine efficiency and increasing annual energy production.

University Demo Day is sponsored by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer. The Council selected Celvive and XTT as two of the nation’s 36 Best University Startups for 2016, which were invited to Demo Day.

Christopher J. Molloy, Rutgers’ senior vice president for research and economic development, said the spinouts demonstrate the university’s strengths in life science and technology.

Rutgers’ inventors earned 155 patents worldwide in FY2016, including 91 U.S. patents. Rutgers ranks #27 among the “Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Patents,” according to the National Academy of Inventors.

XPEED Turbine Technology, LLC (XTT), is developing aerodynamic flow deflector technology that will reduce the cost of wind energy by improving wind turbine efficiency and increasing annual energy production. The new technology can be applied to any currently operating turbine, does not require any external power to function and can be combined with vortex generators.

The aerodynamic deflector technology, which has been validated in wind tunnel and field testing, generates extra torque from the radial component of the velocity and can be easily adapted to work with off-grid small turbines, distributed generation, or utility generation. An international patent is pending for the technology, which the company has licensed exclusively from Rutgers.

Arturo Villegas, who earned a doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Rutgers in 2014, is co-founder and chief executive officer of XTT. Javier Diez, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is the technology’s co-inventor and XTT’s chief technology officer.

The company’s goal is to unite the research done at Rutgers department of mechanical and aerospace engineering with the wind turbine industry to create a more efficient wind turbine model for common and easy use. Founded in 2014 and located in Piscataway, N.J., XTT has received a $150,000 award from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. With the SBIR funds, the company intends to continue research and development to foster more efficient wind energy production with reduced cost, thus creating new jobs in the industry and reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels. Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation provided the startup with internal funding for their deflector work, which allowed them to do their initial testing in the Appalachian Mountains, according to Diez.