When the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center opened its doors in 2007, central Illinois opened its arms to a new wave of high-tech companies looking to make their mark on the world. As a technology incubator, the Center leverages the strengths of Caterpillar Inc., the NCAUR Ag Lab, Bradley University and other health, science and technology organizations throughout the region, providing a place for entrepreneurs and technologists to commercialize innovative ideas into successful businesses.

Advanced CAD/CAM Services
Advanced CAD/CAM Services is in the business of supplying their clients with the highest quality and state-of-the-art engineering services. ACCS was formed in 1991 when two Bradley University graduates had an idea to provide engineering services to manufacturers with the use of cutting-edge technology design tools. Over the years, it has continued to grow, expand and diversify its services, which include on-site engineering and analysis, engineering research and development, and software development.
FOUNDER: Jim Montelongo
WEBSITE: accs-usa.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7266

Ag Defense Systems
With the very real threat of food-borne pathogens, one company is developing a device that will allow users to detect such threats without the use of laboratory screening. Ag-Defense Systems is working on handheld technology that will allow users the ability to monitor food items on-site and receive real-time results. The portable BioSage device can be used to detect viruses, fungus, bacteria and parasites within minutes while employing GPS tracking capabilities. The food industry is a $1.25 trillion market in the U.S., and there are over 75 million illnesses a year as a result of food contamination. As the threat of food supply contamination grows, Ag-Defense Systems and its BioSage technology will be ready to monitor and alert us in real-time.
CEO: Ken Owen
WEBSITE: agdefensesystems.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7258

BioFuels Manufacturers of Illinois
BioFuels Manufacturers of Illinois (BMI) plans to construct a 45 million-gallon-per-year operation using soybean oil as its primary feedstock. At capacity, BMI will be using the production from nearly one million acres of Illinois soybeans annually. GROWMARK, Inc. has signed an agreement to market the majority of the soy-based biodiesel to be manufactured by BMI’s proposed Peoria plant. BMI plans to utilize the Innovation Center’s resources to continue the objective of “helping move our nation’s energy needs from the oil fields of the Mideast to the soybean fields of the Midwest.”
FOUNDER: Sudhir Seth
WEBSITE: biofuelsillinois.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7249

EcoThermics Corporation
EcoThermics Corporation was formed to commercialize intellectual property developed by WhiteMoss, Inc. under an exclusive, worldwide license agreement. The EcoThermics team leverages long-standing relationships with world-class technical partners and a seasoned technical and business advisory board. Its intellectual property portfolio is uniquely diverse and represents significant fluid mechanics and thermal dynamics advancements. Next-generation HVACR (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration) systems will be super-efficient systems that utilize “clean” natural refrigerants, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2). To exploit this reality, future modular products include CO2 compressors and revolutionary hydronic CO2 heat pumps. This energy-efficient and “green” technology offers compelling diversified market penetration opportunities.
FOUNDER/CEO: Merle G. Rocke
WEBSITE: ecothermics.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7320

Hopewell Ventures
Hopewell Ventures provides equity capital and strategic expertise to high-growth businesses, primarily in the Midwest. The principals have more than 80 years of experience investing in and growing Midwestern companies. Hopewell’s investment focus is aligned with the opportunities the Midwest provides: growth-oriented ventures at various stages of development across a broad range of industries. From state-of-the-art technology and life sciences to traditional manufacturing and consumer products, Hopewell works with portfolio companies to help them maximize opportunities.
FOUNDER: Jude Conway
WEBSITE: hopewellventures.com
(309) 495-7251


The first company to reside in the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center is on the verge of selling its product to hospitals across the nation. InformMed, which has designed a handheld “dosage calculator,” reached an agreement with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center for a pilot program and began marketing nationally at the end of 2008. Peoria native, registered nurse and current company vice president, Kathy Francis, developed the technology to address the problem of incorrect medication dosage at the point of care. The device is part of a hospital-wide system developed by InformMed. OSF Saint Francis is the first hospital to implement the system, but several others have already demonstrated interest.
FOUNDER: Katharine Francis
WEBSITE: informmed.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7243

Intellihot has developed a state-of-the art tankless water heater that uses conventional materials and advanced electronics. This green water heater extracts nearly 98 percent of energy, provides unlimited hot water and occupies very little space. Current tank water heaters in U.S. homes run continuously and provide a limited amount of hot water. They are large, utilize less than 60 percent of gas energy burned, and last only seven years. Intellihot’s ultra-low installation cost and 20-year life will revolutionize the water heater market and establish Intellihot as the market leader.
FOUNDER: Sridhar Deivasigamani
WEBSITE: intellihot.com
PHONE: (309) 648-9907   

Lumec Control Products, Inc.
Lumec Control Products is dedicated to creating next-generation process control technologies. Its flagship product, the Dynamic Orifice Valve,  is based on nearly 10 years of research, development and prototype testing. While not only providing unparalleled fluid flow control, the valve is also able to provide accurate flow measurement and remote maintenance diagnostics. LCP, Inc. is in the final testing stage for this product, and is preparing to release it commercially this summer.
FOUNDER: Paul Luebbers
WEBSITE: lumecllc.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7322

Memwäs is a multimedia technology company that is determined to revitalize the century-old memory archiving (capturing, preserving and sharing memories) of traditions such as the wedding guestbook, yearbooks, family albums, etc. Via cleverly implemented but simple technology, Memwäs will make these aging traditions more exciting and engaging for today’s modern world and technologically savvy society. Memwäs’ launch product is the Interactive Guestbook—a brilliant solution to the recurring monotony and blandness faced by the modern couple when selecting a wedding guestbook.
FOUNDER: Adesegun Sun-Basorun
WEBSITE: memwas.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7395

Online Radiology Quality Assurance
The healthcare industry has made great advances by adopting new technologies that streamline workflow and manage records electronically. But even a facility as advanced as a hospital can still be slowed down by the occasional paper report. Online Radiology Quality Assurance (ORQA) is using advanced Web 2.0 software that allows diagnostic imaging departments to report quality control issues through an online interface that can be searched and analyzed for maximum efficiency. With electronic patient records and filmless imaging systems in place at medical facilities across the country, there is no reason to let paper reports slow down the system.
FOUNDER: Mike O’Meara
# EMPLOYEES: 1.5   
WEBSITE: orqa.org
PHONE: (888)-406-8886, x10

Peoria Robotics
Peoria Robotics began as a voluntary collaboration of engineers, scientists, medical practitioners and medical education experts. The focus of the group is strictly applied research and development. Members of the group are all faculty or staff at Bradley University and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. The Peoria Robotics group mission is to develop medical simulators to enhance medical education.
FOUNDER: John Engdahl
EMAIL: [email protected]

zuChem is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel manufacturing methods for the production of glycochemicals (sugar-like molecules). While the greatest long-term need for such compounds is by the pharmaceutical industry, the company is also exploiting the significant commercial opportunities in the food ingredients and specialty chemical markets. zuChem’s mission is to be the premier supplier of unique glycochemicals to these industries by using proprietary technology to produce glycochemicals that are either extremely difficult or too expensive to manufacture via traditional synthetic methods.
FOUNDER:  David Demirjian
WEBSITE: zuchem.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7318

An Incoming Tenant…U-Exchange
Established in 2006, the Project Springboard business plan competition is a partnership between Junction Ventures, Bradley University and other area businesses, designed to nurture potential business ventures and keep the brightest students in the area after graduation. It rewards entrepreneurially-minded students with start-up money and support for their ideas, serving as a catalyst for innovation and business growth. Winners of the competition are awarded office space at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center.

On April 9, 2009, U-Exchange was named the winner of the third annual competition and will join last year’s winner, Memwäs, as a tenant at the Innovation Center. The U-Exchange team plans to create a one-of-a-kind classifieds marketplace and central storefront tailored to the college community where students will be able to buy, sell or exchange textbooks, furniture and personal items with fellow students. 

Endotronix…An Outgoing Tenant
The Peoria NEXT Innovation Center graduated its first client in April as local technology start-up Endotronix moved to a new location in East Peoria. Endotronix’s graduation from the Innovation Center was prompted by the company’s growth and strategic relationships. With upcoming plans to hire, Endotronix faced a need for additional space. At the same time, the company will share facilities with its local partner in technology design, Validus Technologies, LLC.

“Endotronix is the embodiment of the vision for the Innovation Center,” said Kyle Ham, president and COO of Peoria NEXT. “The hope was that by leveraging the strengths and resources of Peoria NEXT members, business partnerships would be formed and nurtured into viable companies. Endotronix proves that business model works.”

The bulky and intrusive wires that have been a mainstay of cardiovascular care might soon be no more. Endotronix has begun development on a minimally invasive wireless monitoring device that can transmit from a patient’s body. These devices, which use a combination of radiofrequency identification (RFID) and microelectromechanical (MEMS) technology, will monitor a patient’s cardiovascular health from within their heart and blood vessels. The system allows for real-time monitoring of patient health, not only in the medical care facility, but also at home, which will reduce the costs associated with prolonged hospital stays. There is potential for this technology to benefit over 60 million people in the United States who have risk factors for developing cardiovascular diseases.
FOUNDERS: Dr. Anthony Nunez & Harry Rowland
WEBSITE: endotronix.com
PHONE: (309) 495-7256