St. Louis Business Journal
By Matthew Hibbard
March 7, 2013
Aerovalve LLC, a startup commercializing in energy-efficient air valve technology used in manufacturing, received a $25,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
The Small Business Innovation Research grant (SBIR), which was matched with $50,000 in funding from St. Louis County's Helix Fund, is being used to develop an energy saving directional control valve.
Valves control compressed air which is the energy used to move actuators in manufacturing. AeroValve develops energy efficient valves that reduce air consumption by 20 percent to 25 percent.
Phase 1 of the SBIR grant was awarded in July 2012 for $150,000 with additional investment from Focus First LP and PJM Advisors.
"We are pleased to have the continued support of NSF'S SBIR Program as AeroValve's R&D Team further refines the a plug-and-play valve technology that we expect to offer substantial cost and energy savings to manufacturers worldwide," said CEO Vicki Gonzalez, in a statement.
The startup is a portfolio company of Nidus Investment Partners and was created to commercialize technology developed by Michael Goldfarb, a mechanical engineering professor at Vanderbilt University. Gonzalez is a founding member and managing partner at Nidus Investment Partners.
AeroValve was the first tenant of the Helix Center, the new 17,000-square-foot biotech incubator in St. Louis County.