Cohort 8 (2024-2026)

ANGELA FELDHAUS

ANGELA FELDHAUS

Angela Feldhaus took a leave of absence from her Ph.D. program in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University to co-found MicroAvionics. Her research on photophoretic levitation led to the co-development of MicroAvionics’ core technology. With a background in physics, applied mathematics, and economics, she is a co-inventor on the patent-pending technology and has over 10 years of nanofabrication experience, including at Sandia National Labs. Angela is a former NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Clarendon Fellow, St Gallen Symposium winner, and NSF I-Corps technical lead. In 2022, she was awarded a fellowship to study innovation and entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School.

MICROAVIONICS TECHNOLOGY

HAINING GAO

HAINING GAO

Haining Gao is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She received her Ph.D. (’22) in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT. She is the co-inventor of the proposed technology (patent pending) and lead author on all related publications. She is a recipient of the MIT Kavanaugh Translational Innovation Fellowship (2022) and the MIT Graduate School of Engineering Evergreen Innovation Fellowship (2021). She is currently the team lead of an MIT Deshpande Center project and was the entrepreneurial lead in an NSF I-Corps Teams project.

HALOGEN TECHNOLOGY

BERK DILER KOVOS

BERK DILER KOVOS

Berk Diler Kovos received his Ph.D. in Quantum Science and Engineering—one of the first in the nation—from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering. During his tenure, Kovos worked on transition metals as optically addressable qubits in the Awschalom Lab and later worked on commercializing this technology. To that end, Kovos formed SynthBits, recruited team members, and led them through I-Corps and Compass accelerator programs. Currently, Kovos was previously employed by Quantum Machines, one of the fastest-growing quantum startups as a solutions engineer, to lead technical sales operations all across the quantum ecosystem.

SYNTHBITS TECHNOLOGY

JHANA PORTER

JHANA PORTER

Jhana Porter is CEO of frakktal, Inc., a Houston, TX-based materials company developing polymers built from plant overages as an alternative to fossil fuel-based feedstocks, specifically for the built environment. Porter has more than 20 years in the biotech industry with a focus on building processes and systems and matching technology with business needs. She was selected as a member of the IMPEL+ 2023 cohort and presented at the 2023 Peer Review of the Building Technologies Office (BTO) as well as the 2023 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Innovative Housing Showcase. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Houston.

FRAKKTAL TECHNOLOGY

SCOTT SVADLENAK

SCOTT SVADLENAK

Scott Svadlenak is a Ph.D. candidate in the Goulas lab at Oregon State University where he (along with Konstantinos Goulas) co-authored a patent for upcycling PVC waste and published the findings in Applied Catalysis B. Svadlenak also participated as team leader in two accelerator programs, the OSU Advantage Accelerator and VentureWell E-team programs. During these programs he led student teams focused on identifying the challenges to scaleup for their PVC recycling technology as well as business model development for a PVC recycling startup. Upon graduation he intends to serve as the Research Director at the startup company Renewcat.

RENEWCAT TECHNOLOGY