February 22, 2012 Meeting - Young Leaders of Local Tech Startups

Join AIChE at Ivar's Salmon House in Seattle for its local section meeeting, featuring speaker-panelists talking about their experiences as "Young Leaders of Local Tech Startups".

February 22, 2012
6:00pm: Social Hour | 7:00pm: Dinner | 8:00pm: Speakers & Panel Q&A
Ivar's Salmon House, 401 NE Northlake Way | map

DINNER AND YOUR FIRST DRINK INCLUDED! ONLY $10 (students/unemployed/retired) OR $20 (all others)!


  • Aaron VanDyke is a Research Associate II at EnerG2, Inc., a materials development company focused on engineering carbon materials for energy-storage applications. While EnerG2 is mainly focused on developing materials from the ground level up, Aaron has spent time taking these carbon materials and integrating them into various electrochemical devices and understanding how EnerG2’s nanostructured carbon functions in these devices. Aaron received a B.A. in chemistry in 2009 from Seattle Pacific University. After just over two years at EnerG2, Aaron has been instrumental in developing an electrode fabrication process, scaling that process up to the pilot-level, and producing functional ultracapacitor devices. EnerG2’s technology platform allows them to engineer carbon materials for all energy storage systems, with the intent to improve these systems resulting in more efficient energy storage. Aaron's slides (PDF).
  • Eric Blackstone is a founder of Nova TheraNostics LLC, a new biotech company spun out of the University of Washington. He is working on assembling an experienced and proven team, licensing the technology from the University, initiating toxicity and efficacy studies, and engaging specialists and advisers to help navigate regulatory requirements. Formerly, Eric was a Technology Manager at the University of Washington Center for Commercialization (formerly UW TechTransfer). He received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Rochester and earned from UW a PhD in Molecular Biology while simultaneously completing an MBA at night. His doctoral work detailed a method to put mammals into artificial hibernation and formed the basis of the biopharmaceutical company Ikaria. Eric's slides (PDF).

    Title: Gadolinium-containing lipid nanoparticles for enhanced vascular MR imaging

    Abstract: Nova TheraNostics LLC (NTN) is commercializing an enhanced gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent that produces higher quality images compared to all other agents on the market. These gadolinium-containing lipid nanoparticles have several novel characteristics. First, they are exquisitely sensitive for MR with an r1 (molar equivalent of T1) of 135 mM-1 sec-1, which is roughly 33-fold more sensitive than commercially available gadolinium contrast agents. These particles stay completely (>99%) within the bloodstream, have a longer serum half-life, and are completely eliminated by 24 hours, which allows this agent to be used in blood pool (vascular) imaging applications. Finally, they are unique in that they are eliminated by the liver through the bile into the gut, and not eliminated through the kidneys as are other contrast agents, making it likely a much safer agent to administer in patients with kidney disease.

  • Justin Ricaurte graduated from UW with a business degree in 2008, and is currently doing web contracting and consulting to help would-be entrepreneurs without technical skills launch the startups that they want to. Justin has also been focusing on a startup he is co-founding with a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at UW, which is creating a piece of web-based software that will teach people how to program with a focus on teaching them employable programming skills.

    Among his project-specific discussion points, Justin is also interested in speaking about risk tolerance, considering that engineers are trained to minimize risk, because in a startup many decisions revolve around risk appetite and minimization of risk.

Drew McUsic moderated the panel discussion.