October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

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U Texas Seed Fund Invests $250,000 in Startup NALA Membranes

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

AUSTIN, Texas — Discovery to Impact at The University of Texas at Austin has invested $250,000 in NALA Membranes, a UT-affiliated startup advancing water purification through the development of a new class of game-changing chlorine-tolerant membranes for reverse osmosis industrial and municipal wastewater systems. This is the fifth investment made by UT’s $10 million Seed Fund, which invests in the most promising new startups built on University-owned intellectual property emerging from UT Austin’s $845 million research enterprise.

“We are thrilled to partner with NALA Membranes on their journey to transform the water filtration industry,” said Mark Arnold, assistant vice president for Discovery to Impact and managing director of the UT Seed Fund. “Their visionary approach to sustainability aligns perfectly with our investment philosophy, and we are confident that their innovative technology will have a profound impact on global water management.”

NALA Membranes, headquartered in North Carolina with a subsidiary in Singapore, launched in 2018 by Judy Riffle and Sue Mecham to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions for producing clean water around the world. The company was formed around chlorine-durable reverse osmosis (RO) membranes invented by Riffle, a professor emerita at Virginia Tech, and Benny Freeman, a professor in UT’s McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. NALA Membranes’ patented materials and novel process addresses the global demand for abundant, clean and accessible water while reducing costs and lessening the negative impact of traditional RO operations.

“We appreciate this investment from the UT Austin Seed Fund and for the long-running research collaboration with Dr. Freeman that led to founding NALA. This investment will support commercialization of our technology to advance our vision for a new class of durable membranes that will reduce the energy, maintenance and membrane replacement in advanced water treatment operations and sustainably provide clean water for homes, industry and agriculture. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Texas industries to support sustainable wastewater reuse projects using NALA’s membranes,” said Mecham, NALA Membranes CEO.

The company and its researchers are part of a larger hydrohub of top water innovators who are developing solutions to mitigate the global water crisis.


Full story: UT Seed Fund Invests $250,000 in Startup NALA Membranes – UT News


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