Business

Iowa City start-ups awarded state funding

Firefly Photonics, ECI Logic get IEDA nod

U.S. 100 dollar banknotes REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Illustration
U.S. 100 dollar banknotes REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Illustration

Two Iowa City-based start-ups have been approved for grants by the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board.

Firefly Photonics researches and develops high performance mid- to long-wave infrared light-emitting diode (LED) and laser technology.

The company plans to develop high-power infrared LEDs with enough efficiency to be used in next-generation carbon dioxide sensors.

Firefly Photonics, which is working at the MERGE center at 136 S. Dubuque St., has been awarded a $25,000 proof of commercial relevance loan for proof of concept work.

The state’s proof of commercial relevance fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology.

Firefly Photonics previously was awarded small business innovation research grants by the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.

Mike Jones, former vice president and general manager of communications and navigation products at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, joined Firefly Photonics as chief executive officer in June 2018.

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ECR Logic — Environmental and Cultural Research Logic — has developed a mobile app that gathers map data from a variety of sources for use in compliance investigations.

The company’s initial product, Real-time DecisionPro, is designed to reduce the amount of time from project start to completion.

ECR Logic was founded in 2016 after the successful completion of the University of Iowa’s Faculty Innovators and Venture School training programs. The IEDA Board awarded the company a $100,000 demonstration fund loan for product refinement and market planning.

The state’s demonstration fund provides financial and technical assistance to encourage high-technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially viable products or services within a reasonable period.

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