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MetaVC Partners Launches Debut Venture Capital Fund Focused on Startups Using Metamaterials

MetaVC Partners has launched its first fund which will focus on venture investments in early-stage startups employing metamaterials technology. Founded by tech industry veterans Chris Alliegro and Conrad Burke, the fund debuts with investments from Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold, two of the earliest and most influential investors in the emerging metamaterials industry.

Metamaterials are manufactured materials engineered to control and manipulate energy and are designed to exhibit properties not found in naturally occurring materials. To date, metamaterials have been commercially employed to produce high-performance and low-cost solutions in power transmission, imaging, wireless communications, and sensors.

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Chris Alliegro was most recently managing director of the Invention Science Fund (ISF), following eight years as managing director of the Invention Development Fund (IDF). Previously an executive at Microsoft, Chris holds a PhD in Physics from Yale University.

Conrad Burke was founder and CEO of Innovalight (acquired by DuPont) a company that developed and manufactured nanomaterials used in renewable energy. Conrad previously worked as a venture partner at Sevin Rosen Funds. He has a master’s degree in physics from Trinity College, Dublin.

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MetaVC Partners currently holds investment positions in Mangata Networks, which is developing satellite-enabled telecommunication and edge computing services, and Neurophos, which is focused on optical neuromorphic computing products.

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“Thanks to the backing of Bill and Nathan, the field of metamaterials has morphed from almost pure science to a viable commercial industry over the past 10 years. But we have just scratched the surface. Over the next 10 years, we will see an explosion of opportunities using metamaterials in computing, renewable energy, communications, medical imaging, and many other areas,” said Dr. Alliegro.

The fund benefits from close ties with top academic and scientific leaders in the field, including David Smith, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Duke University, and Metacept, the world’s foremost metamaterials technology incubator. Dr. Smith will support the fund as senior scientific advisor.

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