Licensing of U-M Startup MONSTR Sense Celebrated with a “Monstrously” Exciting Bell Ringing Ceremony
After many years of delay from the pandemic, on Wednesday, August 23, U-M startup MONSTR Sense was finally able to join Innovation Partnerships to celebrate their licensing agreement with the ringing of the startup bell. In addition to the Innovation Partnerships team, in attendance were Eric Martin, president and co-founder of MONSTR Sense; Steven Cundiff, co-founder of MONSTR Sense and Alex Valentine, product engineer at MONSTR Sense.
MONSTR Sense, which stands for Multidimensional Optical Nonlinear Spectrometer, is a manufacturing company focused on ultrafast spectrometers and microscopes for semiconductor research and development. Currently, MONSTR Sense has two proprietary products: the BIGFOOT Ultrafast Spectrometer and the NESSIE Laser Scanning Microscope. While the company’s products are presently developed for research labs, they are working on expanding their product line to assist with semiconductor inspection and manufacturing.
The technology that would eventually become MONSTR Sense’s primary product offering was first developed in the lab of Steven Cundiff, Harrison M. Randall Collegiate Professor of Physics and professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at U-M, alongside his then-Ph.D. student Eric Martin. As the founders worked on translating their research into a commercial product, they connected with the Innovation Partnerships team and received funding and mentorship support. This included customer discovery training from the Tech Transfer Talent Network, NSF’s Innovation Corps and Ann Arbor SPARK, as well as ADVANCE Grant Proof-of-Concept Funding from the MSU Innovation Center (sponsored by theMichigan Economic Development Corporation). This support led to the initial launch of MONSTR Sense on March 1, 2020.
On working with the Innovation Partnerships team, Eric Martin said, “We’ve been really appreciative to work with Innovation Partnerships. From helping us secure our first patent to finding funding like the Advance grant and T3N post-doc funding to working with our mentor to translate our technology into something that we can communicate and build a business around. There are a lot of steps between initial research and product development, and Innovation Partnerships has been extremely helpful in navigating that path.”
Looking toward the future, MONSTR Sense is working to develop a third product to combine the capabilities of their BIGFOOT spectrometer and NESSIE microscope to create a more streamlined tool for an expanded customer base.