Seamus Curran Named Finalist in MassChallenge Competition

Curran Biotech One of 48 Startups Named as Finalists

Professor of physics Seamus Curran’s company, Curran Biotech, is in the running to win MassChallenge’s startup competition.

Curran’s company is one of 48 finalists chosen among an accelerator program of 244 startups led by MassChallenge, an organization that helps entrepreneurs launch and grow new ventures.

Winners could receive up to $2M in equity-free cash prizes.

"I didn’t expect it at all,” said Curran. “I didn’t think we would have been the type of company that they look for. We’re transitioning from being a startup to a company that is supplying product for real need.”

During the four-month accelerator program, the 244 startups received expert mentorship and industry resources to launch and grow their companies.

There were more than 2,500 applications from across the world to participate in the program. MassChallenge chose only 244 startups that were split into four cohorts: Houston, Austin, Boston and Rhode Island. Curran participated in the Houston cohort.

Curran said one of the major takeaways was the mentorship that gave him guidance on the direction he should take with his fabric-coating product.

“Initially, I was thinking of selling online product for people to buy, maybe a quart or a gallon,” Curran said. “Talking to the mentors, they said you don’t have the wherewithal, the structure, to be able to do that. Why don’t you think about business-to-business? Now, Curran Biotech is talking to two different hospital systems and real estate companies.”

Curran Biotech is a company he founded to produce hydrophobic fabric coatings and other products. His other company, Integricote, creates coatings for concrete, masonry and wood in a lab at UH Technology Bridge.

Most recently, Curran Biotech developed a nanotech coating made to allow air filters to capture airborne or aerosolized droplets of the virus that causes COVID-19. The technology is currently installed at a public building in New York City.

“The economy is shut down. People are getting sick,” Curran said. “People are hesitant to go into buildings because they’re scared. What we’re doing is providing a coating that cleans the virus from the air.”

His air filter nanotech coating is being tested in other public buildings.

The winners of the MassChallenge will be announced on Thursday, October 22, through a livestream on their website.

- Rebeca Trejo, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics