Announcing the Genesis Investment in VaxCube

On behalf of Genesis, I’m excited to announce our investment in VaxCube. VaxCube aims to dramatically improve the way vaccines are transported in developing countries through a unique design that maintains vaccine temperature at an optimal range to preserve their quality.

The Problem

The supply chain of vaccines is commonly referred to as the cold chain due to the need to keep most vaccines within a temperature range of 2–8℃ (36–46F). Exposure to adverse temperatures that are either too cold or too hot is a major issue in the cold chains of developing countries according to the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Millions of dollars worth of vaccines are often lost because of issues related to transportation in sub-optimal conditions.

VaxCube has set out to eliminate this issue, and potentially save millions of lives in the process, through an innovative design that uses thermoelectric cooling. Their design improves the efficiency of thermoelectric coolers in a way that makes a compact design (ideal for transportation) possible. VaxCube will significantly increase the amount of hours vaccines can be stored at ideal temperatures during transportation which should enable health workers to reach more places in developing countries than ever before.

The Founders

VaxCube was founded by Arjun Menta, Uksang Yoo, and Logan Hageman under the advice of Professor Mark McDermott. The team formed after bonding over their work together in various case competitions. The three discovered that they all had an interest in entrepreneurship and Logan and Uksang were interested in helping Arjun develop his idea for tackling the important issue of vaccine transportation.

Arjun Menta (Business Honors & Biochemistry ’20) — Arjun was the co-inventor of VaxCube along with Uksang Yoo.

Arjun has experience working within the medical and public health spheres through his work as a research intern at MD Anderson. He was finalist in the National Geographic Chasing Dreams competition with his idea for VaxCube before onboarding his two teammates to assist with research and development.

Uksang Yoo (Mechanical Engineering ’20) — Uksang has conducted research in areas such as machine learning, biomechanics, and shape memory alloys. He hopes to bring his technical skills to VaxCube as they refine the design of the device that he co-invented.

Logan Hageman (Chemical Engineering ’18) — Logan has conducted research as a microfluids assistant where he refined his technical skills through creating models in COMSOL to characterize electrokinetic instability. Logan also studied abroad in a program that taught him fundamental business concepts related to transitioning current research to market products.

How’re They Doing?

To-date, VaxCube has been hard at work to develop the first iterations of their hardware. They have also started to forge relationships with investors who have an interest in assisting the team with their mission to save lives through their invention. The team hopes to secure a partnership with a non-profit organization operating in public health in developing countries in order to pilot their invention.

Why I Led This Deal by Juan Alvarez, Venture Partner

When speaking to the team it was always apparent that they had done extensive research on the technical and business needs to develop their idea. They demonstrated the drive and commitment necessary to ensure their invention has an impact on an issue that affects millions of people. A combination of an excellent team, an innovative idea, and an opportunity to have an outsize positive impact on human lives inspired Genesis to fund this venture.