2016 was an absolutely amazing year for Visikol in that we have far exceeded our initial expectations when we launched the company in March and are tracking well with our goals and milestones. I am incredibly proud of the work that our team has done in a very short period of time and I think we are well on our way to significantly disrupting the way that bio-imaging is conducted. Below I just wanted to focus on some of the highlights from the year and discuss our goals for 2017.
Launch of Visikol HISTO
This technology is the embodiment of years of work and was designed to replace traditional 2D histology with an easy-to-use and rapid 3D histological approach. We were very happy to receive positive feedback from our early beta-testers on this technology and have since launched a suite of Visikol HISTO products. We are continually improving these products and, to date, have had over 160 researchers use Visikol HISTO in their research. Check out some examples of Visikol HISTO being used below:
NSF Phase I SBIR Grant
As young researchers with few publications and a short academic track record, we were thrilled to receive a $225,000 Phase I NSF SBIR grant. These grants are highly competitive, and receiving one was a major accomplishment for the team. This grant allowed us to finish the development of our Visikol TOX platform and to pursue the development of the Visikol HISTO technology for micro-tissues. Based upon this success, we have submitted several additional SBIR grants and will look to continue supporting our R&D efforts through SBIR grant funding in 2017.
Forbes 30 Under 30
A fitting cap to this year's accomplishments was being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. I am really proud to have been selected among so many innovators and disruptors from across the country. Each and every person on this list is working to shape their respective industries and to create a lasting impact in the world. This accomplishment would not have been possible without a long list of people who have supported me and the Visikol team. My two-founders; Thomas Villani and Nick Crider have been instrumental to the success of Visikol and together we make a really great team. Over the last year, we have spent countless hours together in a 10 x 10-foot office and the experience has had an incredible impact on me.
In addition to my fellow co-founders, this would not have been possible without the Foundation Venture Capital Group or Rutgers University who have supported us immensely along the way. Lastly, and most importantly, I would like to thank my wife Kassandra for her love and support and putting up with very early mornings and late nights of work. Building a company and creating new technologies is hard work that requires a great team and support from a myriad of people.
One of the most important things for any team is to set goals. I find that committing goals to paper and sharing them with others makes you more accountable for your actions. Therefore, I wanted to share some of our goals for 2017 with all of you:
- Accelerate the commercialization of the Visikol HISTO technology for research applications and get it into the hands of 1,000 researchers
- Integrate the Visikol TOX technology into commercial developmental and reproductive toxicology studies
- Work with clinicians to evaluate high impact clinical applications for Visikol HISTO
- Raise $1,000,000 in SBIR award funding
Meeting these goals in 2017 will allow us to provide researchers with tools to answer complex scientific questions while building a successful commercial organization. Additionally, we will lay the groundwork for applying the Visikol HISTO technology directly to human health where 3D histology could potentially improve the diagnosis of heterogenous and complex diseases like breast cancer or Alzheimer's Disease.
Thank you all for your support of Visikol and best wishes for a happy and productive 2017!