Posts Tagged ‘Audigence’

Florida Venture Capital Conference - If I had a fund

Friday, February 6th, 2009

I have just returned from Naples (short trip - Florida!) where I attended the Florida Venture Capital Conference - an annual event organized by the Florida Venture Forum.  This is a two-day event that brings VC’s, entrepreneurs, and service providers together (about 1100 people registered)  to network, hear the latest news on the state of the VC industry, and learn about promising new startups in Florida.  I’ll comment on the state of the VC industry in another post.  Today I want to highlight two of the companies that I learned about that I’d fund (if I had a fund).  I know, talk is cheap! 

Audigence (Melbourne, FL) - This company has developed a software-based optimization technique for assessing and tuning digital hearing devices, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. The Audigence technology enables customized tuning of existing hardware devices to enhance the capabilities of hearing impaired patients.  This is just the beachhead for this company. The real market will develop when they get their software into mobile phones.  Just think, your cell phone speaker could be customized and optimized for your particular ear - dramatically improving speech intelligibility.  Over 1 billion mobile phones are produced annually.  If they can get their technology on a fraction of these, let’s say 5% the first year, at say $0.10 - 0.50/phone - thats $50M.  I think this is a winner.

Sharklet Technologies, Inc. (Alachua, Fl) - This company has engineered a new surface technology product called Sharklet™ that prohibits the growth of dangerous bacteria.  The surface is a microscopic pattern that is similar to that found on a sharks skin.  The observation that bacteria did not grow on a shark sparked the research at the University of Florida that is behind this company’s product.  All kinds of medical devices (like catheters, etc) could be coated with this product to provide longer lasting and safer use.  The potential market is over $1B.  I think this is another winner.