Los Angeles Business Journal

EPETRI INC.

Special Report: Innovation / Tech Transfer By Business Journal Staff Monday, August 12, 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: From a security software maker to the developer of an implantable spinal cord neuromodulator, the Business Journal highlights seven spun-out ventures looking to ride the lab coattails of USC, UCLA and Caltech.

CalTech: EPETRI INC.

Product: Biomedical imaging system

Chief Executive: Changhuei Yang

Year Founded: 2012

Location: Pasadena

What does the product do?

It can stream high-resolution microscopic images of growing cell cultures directly out of the incubator.

What was the idea that led to the creation of the company?

We recognized that standard petri dish cell culturing is a highly labor-intensive and inefficient laboratory process. We believe that updating this process would lead to significant efficiency improvements in biomedicine.

What has been the benefit of spinning the company out of Caltech?

Working with the Caltech Office of Technology Transfer to spin this out was easy. Caltech OTT is a small office. All parties involved in the process know and understand that commercializing useful technologies, such as ePetri, is an excellent way to get the technology to where it can do the maximum good.

What has been the biggest change since spinning off?

For me, this was a relief. I was constantly getting emails from people asking me to build them ePetri systems. The startup is able to pick up where academic research left off.

How can the product change society?

Faster, less costly and more accurate infection diagnosis for biomedicine.

What were some of the challenges in developing the company?

Going from research to commercialization involves a significant gear shift. I was lucky to have a number of excellent, trustworthy and experienced commercialization partners.