BrightStar Announces Three New Investments

MILWAUKEE May 25, 2021— BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce its investment committee has approved three Wisconsin early-stage companies for investment. Pyran, Inc. of Madison will receive $150,000 investment. Cert-N, LLC of Green Bay and COnovate, Inc. of Milwaukee, will each receive $50,000 investments coming from BrightStar with assistance from WEDC’s Capital Catalyst program. WEDC matches BrightStar dollars to eligible startups targeting emerging growth companies supporting very early business creation.

Pyran was formed in the spring of 2018 by a chemical engineering team at UW-Madison, co-founders Dr. Kevin Barnett and Professor George Huber, who discovered a new chemical pathway to make materials out of corn cobs. The technology allows paint, coatings, adhesives and plastics companies to shift away from petroleum-based products to plant-based ones resulting in the same product but from an eco-friendly, abundant source that can also cut costs by 40%. The company has an exclusive license agreement for the patents with WARF, who also invested in this round.

Cert-N is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that helps Value Added Resellers simplify the tracking of Technology Provider OEM’s vendor loyalty programs and maximize the loyalty value dollars available.

COnovate is developing patented composite materials into commercial ready products for Lithium-ion battery (LIB) anodes. With these new CophiteTM materials, battery performance will surpass current LIBs. COnovate is receiving its second BrightStar investment, which will help begin commercialization efforts for its unique CophiteTMmaterial. The first $50,000 investment enabled the purchase of new analytical equipment allowing for the development of CophiteTM.