The NSF Phase II grant pushes Capro-X past $1 million in funding awards. After completing the NSF’s I-Corps, a seven-week program to train researchers to become entrepreneurs, company co-founder and CEO Juan Guzman, Ph.D. ’17, applied for and received a $225,000 NSF Phase I grant. Last year, Capro-X won a $250,000 prize in the inaugural Grow-NY food and agriculture competition, administered by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.
This spring the startup secured additional funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, as one of 23 companies developing technologies that will help protect health and the environment.
In addition to funding, Guzman and his team have taken advantage of other entrepreneurial resources. The company was a finalist in NYSERDA’s 76West Clean Energy Competition in 2018; that same year it became a member of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works, a business incubator co-created by Cornell.
This month, Capro-X began the Dairy Farmers of America business accelerator program.
This summer, the company is starting construction on its demonstration system, which is expected to treat a few hundred gallons of Greek yogurt acid whey per day. It should produce enough bioproducts to enable Capro-X to enter the specialty chemicals market.