Discovery to Impact at The University of Texas at Austin has invested $250,000 in ClearCam Inc., a UT-affiliated startup that has launched a technology cleared by the Food and Drug Administration that drastically improves visualization and safety in laparoscopic procedures. This is the second investment made by UT Austin’s $10 million Seed Fund.
ClearCam’s ClearScope, a disposable in-vivo laparoscopic lens cleaner, eliminates the need for clinicians to continually remove and clean a scope during surgery. It enables surgeons to maintain their visual field and momentum throughout surgery, reduces a patient’s time in the OR, and maximizes surgical excellence while improving surgical safety. The device has been used in more than 1,600 procedures across the country and is gaining traction in thoracic, general and gynecologic surgeries.
“ClearCam underscores the monumental impact that results when innovators from different disciplines collaborate to develop ground-breaking, commercial solutions at UT Austin,” said Christine Dixon Thiesing, associate vice president of Discovery to Impact. “We believe that providing meaningful investment is the natural extension of our myriad entrepreneurship and innovation programs, and we are excited about the company’s continued success.”
ClearCam was born in 2018 out of a collaboration between Dell Medical School, the Cockrell School of Engineering and the Texas Innovation Center.
“We are thrilled to have the support of the UT Austin Seed Fund, which shares our vision for improving the quality and outcomes of minimally invasive procedures,” said Dr. John Uecker, CEO of ClearCam. “This investment will help us bring our technology to more health care providers and ultimately improve the standard of care for patients.”
The UT Austin Seed Fund is managed by Discovery to Impact, the newly named group leading the university’s research commercialization efforts. The fund invests in the most promising new startups built on university-owned intellectual property emerging from UT Austin’s $845 million research enterprise.
“This funding is contributing to our ability to expand our commercial reach and traction, as well as helping to facilitate further product development,” said Douglas Stoakley, president and COO of ClearCam. “Our university network has played a pivotal role in the growth of ClearCam from day one, and this investment further strengthens our partnership.”
UT Austin will continue to invest in new companies through the Seed Fund over the next several years, with an anticipated maximum of $250,000 per company.