The Sickest Startup

We are launching polySpectra’s first product at the Cyclotron Road Demo Day next week, and I couldn’t have made a bigger mistake. On Sunday I felt a little bit ‘low energy’, but at the time it was barely noticeable. On Monday morning I was really tired, but it was Monday morning. I told my team I’d be fine after another cup of coffee. By Monday afternoon I realized it was not getting better and I needed to go home and lie down. »

An Open Source Stack for Physical Science Startups

It is hard enough running a ‘hard tech’ startup. Hardware is one thing, but companies bringing physical science innovations to the world have it toughest of all. Mother nature can be a very cruel compiler. Do not abandon hope! There are many tools available to help you on your journey. As with most things in life, the best ones are (often) free. Here, I have curated a short list of open source apps and tools that have been useful to us at polySpectra. »

You Are My Angel Investor

You probably don’t know it, but you are my angel investor. This piece is dedicated to every US taxpayer — congratulations! You took a big risk and it is paying off. You didn’t get any stock, but I hope to show that you’ve created tremendous value and it is starting to return dividends. polySpectra just spun out of the Cyclotron Road program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Cyclotron Road is a hard technology accelerator program, focused on giving first-time entrepreneurs a launchpad to build cleantech and advanced manufacturing companies. »

Materials Science Startup Lessons

I’ve learned a lot over the last year of running polySpectra, as part of the Cyclotron Road accelerator program at LBNL. Here are a few bite-sized tips that might help you in your endeavors: A prototype is worth a million words. Most people have a very hard time hearing descriptions of chemical and physical properties and translating that into an accurate mental image. Even people with PhDs in your field may not immediately understand what you are talking about (although they will pretend they do, which is even worse). »