The Bellevue company pays to license research that comes out of national laboratories with the intent to commercialize those technologies.
Technology entrepreneur Naveen Jain has raised $6.7 million from investors for his newest venture, BlueDot, which aims to form health-care and energy businesses from federal research.
Bellevue-based BlueDot pays to license research that comes out of NASA and national laboratories within the Department of Energy and other agencies, Jain said. Blue Dot then plans to spin out companies dedicated to specific technologies that have the potential for “big social impact.”
“We will find the research sitting in national labs and commercialize them to help billions of people around the world,” Jain, who founded Intelius and InfoSpace, now Blucora, said Monday. “If there’s not a big social impact, we’re not interested in the research.”
He did not disclose who invested in the funding round, saying it was individual entrepreneurs, as well as venture-capital firms. The funding is part of a $10 million total round that is expected to close within the next month.
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BlueDot is working on a variety of projects, including a wireless charger and a small device to immediately diagnose some illnesses. The company has five employees, and Jain plans to keep it small.
Under BlueDot’s model, the company finds and evaluates research, then works with national research organizations to create prototypes. After the technology is developed, BlueDot would spin off the technology into its own company and bring in a team to run the business.
Jain started the company because of the disconnect between science and business, he said – scientists are often not the best at growing businesses and business people are not often accomplished scientists.
Jain also emphasized the importance of profit – businesses must have enough resources to be successful, he said.
“I believe that doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive,” Jain said.
BlueDot plans to use the funding to find research and begin building technology in partnership with national labs.
Jain founded BlueDot last year after selling Intelius, a background-check company, to H.I.G. Capital. Jain’s company InfoSpace was the subject of a 2005 Seattle Times investigation that found Jain and other executives boosted the company’s stock through controversial dealings. Jain denied the claims, saying they are false.