Los Alamos, NM—March 19, 2019—UbiQD, Inc., a New Mexico-based nanotechnology development company, announced today that it was recently named winner in the Hyper-Connected Communities category of the 2019 South by Southwest (SXSW) 11th Annual SXSW Pitch®(formerly SXSW Accelerator) competition, where it showcased its UbiGro™ quantum dot greenhouse technology.
“Bringing home the best pitch award is a great validation of what we are doing” said Dr. Hunter McDaniel, CEO at UbiQD. “Among other things, it shows that even a ‘deep tech’ based startup, commercializing hard science (quantum nanomaterials), can effectively communicate their story to a broad audience.”
SXSW Pitch is the marquee event of South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festival’s Entrepreneurship & Startup Track, where leading startups from around the world showcase some of the most impressive technology innovations to a panel of hand-picked judges and a live audience. Of the more than 800 companies that applied to participate in the 2019 SXSW Pitch, 50 finalists presented across 10 categories.
The first-ever product of its kind, UbiGro® is a retrofit luminescent film that hangs over crops and can be quickly installed and tested in a portion of an existing greenhouse. The film is currently installed more than ten greenhouses across New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Spain, and the Netherlands where growers are producing tomatoes, lettuce, cannabis, and hemp. During the pitch, UbiQD announced the installation of its first commercial cucumber greenhouse pilot project.
Read more about UbiQD in an Austin Startups article or the cover story of the February issue of MJBiz Magazine. The news was also announced by SXSW, and carried by The Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Business First, and the Los Alamos Daily Post.
Unfortunately, the event was not recorded. However, Hunter pitched at another event that same week at SXSW for NASA iTech. You can view a recording of that pitch here.
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2019 will take place March 8-17.
UbiQD is a nanotechnology company based in Los Alamos, New Mexico that manufactures high-performance, cadmium-free quantum dots and composite materials. The company uniquely focuses on applications that utilize its nanomaterials to manipulate sunlight, enabling solar windows and spectrum-controlled greenhouses. Spun out of technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, and Western Washington University, UbiQD envisions a future where quantum dots are ubiquitous in a wide spectrum of applications. For more information please visit UbiQD.com or UbiGro.com.
Hunter McDaniel, PhD
Founder & CEO
Hunter earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, before joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Chemistry Division. Ultimately the value proposition of UbiGro is about boosting crop yields and quality without the cost or energy impact of lighting. Hunter has more than fifty publications and patents, and more than 2000 total citations, h-index: 20. Hunter fundamentally believes that novel materials underpin every significant technology advancement, and he is focused on leveraging new materials to have a lasting and sustainable impact.
Damon Hebert, PhD
Director of Agriculture
Damon brings a wide range of experience in agriculture, materials science, spectroscopy, and small business. During his time in Prof. Angus Rockett’s research group at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Hebert authored a doctoral thesis and multiple papers on the materials science of CIGS semiconductor materials, which is closely related to the materials developed at UbiQD. He also served as a consultant to Nanosolar, a CIGS nanocrystal solar cell manufacturing company. Hebert has industry experience having co-founded Dr. Jolly’s, a leading cultivation and distribution operation in Bend, OR.
Tania is a UbiGro Sales Representative, with over 7 years of experience in product sales (specifically berries and avocados) covering all of North America and parts of South America. While in agriculture, Tania has cultivated strong relationships with growers and distributors, granting her a unique insight into both perspectives. That understanding, paired with her fierce dedication to results, drives her fun and fiery commitment to her craft. Tania is based in Gilroy, CA.
Charles earned a Bachelor’s in Biological Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master’s in Biosystems Engineering from The University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. Advised by Dr. Gene Giacomelli, Charles conducted his thesis on the “Optimization of Spectral Quality with Quantum Dots to Enhance Crop Yield in Controlled Environments.” Charles has a decade of biological engineering, greenhouse technology, and molecular biology experience from lab to production scale including working with the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. He brings his experience in hydroponics, controlled environment systems design, photobiology, greenhouse engineering, and scientific outreach.
Jim Gideon is an UbiGro Sales Manager, with over 25 years of greenhouse industry sales experience covering all of North America. Previously Jim has worked for Green Tek, Plazit-Polygal, Texel, Cherry Creek, and Nexus. He is based in Montgomery, AL, and Jim believes that “light is everything to the grower.”
Director of Sales
Eric Moody is UbiQD’s Director of UbiGro Sales. Eric has more than 6 years of experience in horticulture lighting industry, building relationships with greenhouse growers of all sizes and crops on optimal lighting for their growing operation, and most recently managed a North American sales team for PL Light Systems. Overall, Eric has been in sales leadership positions for more than 13 years. Eric brings with him a great understanding of the market and available technologies for growers, greenhouse facilities, and sales leadership.
Mike Burrows, PhD
Dr. Michael Burrows is UbiQd’s Vice President of Business Development. His educational background includes a Materials Science doctorate from the University of Delaware and an MBA from Duke University Fuqua School of Business. His career has specialized in the commercialization of novel electronic materials in venture-run programs for different industries including solar, biosensors, and the automotive industry. In both start-up and corporate environments, he has extensive experience in global market development, foraging supply chain partnerships, productization, and brand building. He is currently leading UbiQD’s partnership efforts in luminescent greenhouse technology, smart windows, and security ventures.
Matt Bergern, PhD
Cheif Product Officer
As Chief Product Officer at UbiQD, Dr. Matt Bergren leads the company’s product development efforts, sales, and product manufacturing, including the company’s first commercial agriculture product, UbiGro. He plays a critical role in continuing the company’s path of technology development and vision of powering product innovations in agriculture, clean energy, and security.
He serves as the principal investigator for UbiQD’s contract with NASA, focused on tailoring the solar spectrum for enhanced crop production for space missions. Dr. Bergren’s leadership experience includes serving on the board of directors for the New Mexico Energy Manufacturing Institute, focused on job creation in New Mexico’s energy, and related manufacturing community.