The Rowan Innovation Venture Fund made a $200,000 investment in MRIMath, LLCa Rowan University-affiliated startup that uses artificial intelligence to dramatically improve brain tumor detection, up to three years earlier than standard of care.
The medical technology company was co-founded in 2017 by Dr. Nidhal Carla Bouaynaya, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Rowan University, and Dr. Hassan Fathallah-Shaykh, neuro-oncologist and mathematician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham – School of Medicine.
Established in 2014 by the Rowan University Foundation to support entrepreneurship and innovation within the Rowan community, the Rowan Innovation Venture Fund provides capital funding to help faculty, students, alumni and staff to market their products and services and provides the opportunity to invest in Rowan- generated technologies, intellectual property, inventions and businesses.
MRIMath, LLC, has previously received support from the National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) (Phases I and II), the National Science Foundation, the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, and the Innovate Alabama Award. Currently in the development testing phase, MRIMath is working to get its AI platform, called I2Outline, in commercial use.
“By using AI, doctors can identify conditions much faster, promote early intervention and save lives while reducing costs,” Bouaynaya said.
The Rowan Innovation Venture Fund views MRIMath’s technology as “an innovative solution to an important problem in an important market,” said Ernest D. Holtzheimer, managing director of the fund.
“Nidhal and his co-founder, Hassan, have developed exciting AI technology that will help physicians make more reliable treatment decisions and improve patients’ lives after treatment,” said Holtzheimer. “They have also built a highly respected team with the science and business experience and connections that will be needed to take their business to the next level – and they have proven that their team is coachable and willing to take advice from their peers. investors and advisors, a quality we look for in all our potential investment opportunities.
The Rowan Innovation Venture Fund has backed a dozen companies since its inception, including, among other Rowan affiliates, ReGelTec, founded by Provost Tony Lowman; Ocumedic, founded by Dr. Mark Byrne, founding head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Arke Aeronautics, founded by three Rowan alumni.
The fund also supports the annual Rowan Idea Challenge student competition and has partnered with the School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to create a Seed Opportunity Fund to support aspiring first-generation and underrepresented entrepreneurs. To date, the fund has invested more than $2.3 million in companies founded by Rowan students, faculty and alumni.