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Fast 15

ImagineOptix, a company developing a revolutionary projection technology for phones and other uses, is one of NC State’s Fast 15 — startup companies launched by the campus research community.

The company is commercializing technology developed by Dr. Michael Escuti, head of the Opto-Electronics and Lightwave Engineering Group in the College of Engineering, who earned White House honors last year. Company officials say the technology they’re developing will allow anyone to easily share presentations, photos and movies with crisp and clear resolution.

“We’re now shifting from ‘research mode’ to ‘production and sales mode’ with the technology,” Erin Clark, president and CEO of the Cary-based company, explains.

ImagineOptix and its Fast 15 peers exemplify the university’s commitment to helping researchers take cutting-edge research to the marketplace. NC State established the Fast 15 in 2011 to help achieve an ambitious goal: doubling the number of startup companies launched by the campus research community.

The university’s New Venture Services supports the Fast 15 through customized support for faculty and student projects and startups. The goal is to create stronger, more viable early–stage companies that are poised for future success.

The Fast 15 includes a spectrum of experience, from teams just starting with great ideas, to startups focusing on discoveries with great potential for commercialization, and also young companies marketing initial products but needing assistance to reach their full potential.

NC State staff, faculty, industry leaders and entrepreneurs vet potential Fast 15 participants. New Venture Services, within the Office of Technology Transfer, then provides mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs, business launch planning and assistance building management teams.

“The designation also offers the startup companies visibility that helps to attract interest from investors and prospective early stage stakeholders,” adds Russell Thomas, who leads New Ventures services. The Fast 15 project complements the NC State’s partnership with the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, which is working with several campuses in the Triangle.

Check out the Fast 15, listed in alphabetical order.


Small, highly transportable devices cool saline needed to induce hypothermia. With no refrigeration needed, they expand the situations where therapeutic hypothermia treatment can be used.


A concept for an e-publishing platform for short-form literature — serial novels, web fiction, poetry and short stories —has been put on hold as the developers focus on other projects.

Galaxy Diagnostics

A spinout from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Galaxy offers the most sensitive diagnostic test for the detection of active Bartonella bacteria, which infects animals and humans.

Huffines Design

These tactical defense accessories can be used in police and defense applications. The student designer anticipates licensing his patent to an established company.


ImagineOptix is developing the world’s smallest, lowest-cost, and most battery-efficient “personal projectors” for consumer electronics. Additional products provide novel solutions to polarization challenges in optics.


This filtration system removes blood phosphates during dialysis, extending the lives of those with chronic kidney disease and reducing or eliminating associated medications. Katharos is a joint venture between NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


This online, knowledge-sharing and curating platform enables users to share what they are learning with friends and followers.

Leiva Strings

A music education start-up company, Leiva Strings uses a color–coded learning system that enables individuals to learn to play stringed instruments faster — and with less frustration.

Oryx Bio

Based on Centennial Campus, Orxy Bio is a spin-out of the College of Engineering. Its bioseparations technology platform will improve the manufacturing of therapeutic biological products. Oryx acquired Ligamar in early 2012.


This nanoparticle-based therapy uses a plant virus to deliver therapeutics into a cell and its nucleus, technology developed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Polymer Braille

A book-size electronic reading device for the blind and visually impaired will convert pages to Braille dots that rise up through the screen. The product could increase Braille literacy, a key for employment for the blind.


An intelligent, electric supercharger will improve the performance of motorcycles and cars.

Spitter Spatter

Ecofriendly, antimicrobial children’s clothing will ease parents’ lives. Look for products online and in select boutiques this fall.

Vapor Pulse

Using a new method for applying nanocoatings developed in the College of Engineering, Vapor Pulse has initial markets for fabric protection, defense, and healthcare applications. Vapor Pulse was selected for the Chancellor’s Innovation Fund in 2011.


Using unique advances developed in the College of Engineering, this team produces quality nanofibers for filters and medical uses using a unique, liquid-based process. Xanofi is now operational with several customers.

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