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Tech Startup Stoicheia Revolutionizes Materials Discovery

·3-min read

New company backed by legendary investor Louis A. Simpson, multiple tech titans

A new technology startup aims to kick the Materials Genome Project into hyperdrive — poising itself to revolutionize the petrochemical, energy, transportation and pharmaceutical industries.

Co-founded by serial entrepreneur and nanotechnology pioneer Chad A. Mirkin, Stoicheia officially launched today after closing a $5 million seed financing round.

Using its proprietary lithography technology, Stoicheia has developed a way to create Megalibraries of nanomaterials on a chip. Each square centimeter of the chip is packed with more than 1 million nanostructures, each differing in size and composition by design. These Megalibraries provide the ability to perform millions of experiments simultaneously in order to rapidly identify materials with ideal properties for numerous applications.

The nanotechnology-based, high-throughput approach eliminates the need for expensive serial-screening processes, which are traditionally costly, tedious and extremely slow. Stoicheia’s technology also can be used to combine elements in new ways — already creating structures comprising up to seven elements.

"Many of these materials have never been on the planet before," said Andrey Ivankin, chief technical officer of Stoicheia. "This significantly expands the materials search space for industrial partners currently focused on one- and two-element materials."

"New materials drive new capabilities, and in some cases, define different eras of civilization," said Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University and founding director of the International Institute of Nanotechnology. "Yet society has been moving at a snail’s pace to identify materials that matter. We are increasing the speed by orders of magnitude."

"We can create and evaluate new materials at a scale and speed which have the potential to identify and develop the catalysts required to make carbon dioxide recycling and green hydrogen an economic reality," added Dr. Ivankin. "We can find new catalysts faster than anyone else."

Already, Stoicheia has gained the confidence of some of tech’s biggest names. Its first seed funding round includes the following backers:

  • Joe Allison, former CEO of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing

  • Hugh Evans, former senior vice president of corporate development for 3D Systems

  • Kairos Ventures, a venture capital company that invests in top scientists

  • Wally Loewenbaum, former chairperson of 3D Systems

  • J. Todd Mitchell, natural gas and clean-tech entrepreneur

  • Craig Mundie, former Chief Research and Strategy Officer of Microsoft

  • Louis A. Simpson, former CIO of Geico, former manager of Berkshire Hathaway and founder of SQ Advisors

  • David Walt, founder of Illumina and Harvard Medical School professor

"Kairos Ventures invests in deep-science opportunities based on breakthrough innovations by the leading scientific minds of our times," said Alex Andrianopoulos, chief R&D officer at Kairos Ventures. "Professor Chad Mirkin is one of those luminaries, and, in Stoicheia, we have found a terrific opportunity to invest in a groundbreaking innovation from Professor Mirkin’s lab at Northwestern University. Stoicheia is poised to revolutionize materials discovery with profound implications for all of humankind. We are proud to be in a position to support Professor Mirkin and Stoicheia."

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Andrew Mirkin at 805-705-2444 or