Me speaking on the LaunchMemphis Early Stage Investment Forum -- http://www.launchmemphis.com
04 June 2008
By Alexei Smirnov
More than a Penny Saved
Eugene Pinkhassik is living proof that the terms "businessman" and
"scientist" need not be mutually exclusive. Since arriving in
Tennessee 11 years ago after completing post-doctoral studies at the
University of Colorado, the assistant professor of chemistry has done
well for himself and his current employer, the University of Memphis.
The native of Kazan, Russia, is now one of the principals of the
University of Memphis' first spinoff, NanoTect, which is on the verge
of commercializing the ultra-thin protective layer for metal piping
that Pinkhassik developed as part of his research in nanotechnology.
"Anti-corrosion sensors aren't as glamorous as sensors that diagnose
cancer, but it's a simple technology that can be easily
commercialized," says Pinkhassik, whose long-term goal is to develop
sensors capable of detecting cancerous growths early on as part of a
simple blood test. "It can happen in the next 10 to 20 years." It was
in this lofty research that Pinkhassik happened upon the curious
results of applying nano-coating to sensors for diagnosing illnesses.
Pinkhassik, along with colleagues Erno Lindner and Andrew Richter,
discovered that their coating solution could slow down corrosion in
copper by four times the current rate. Their side project won the
FedEx Institute's first business plan competition in 2006, followed by
another award from EmergeMemphis, as well as backing from Mercury
Technology Labs of Memphis.