Each week, we’ll round up startup news from the UNC journalism students behind North Carolina Business News Wire. To read all of the students’ work covering public and private companies around the state, sign up for the daily newsletter.

Charlotte laundry services start-up 2U Laundry raises $2.5 million

By Lindsey Welch

2ULaundry Inc., a laundry services start-up based in Charlotte, has raised $2.5 million from four investors, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Launched in 2015, the company previously raised money nearly a year ago.

In November 2016, it raised $400,000 from 11 investors. In both transactions, the minimum investment accepted from outside investors was $5,000 and were not made in connection with a business combination transaction, such as a merger, acquisition or exchange offer.

The idea for 2U was the result of a student project at Wake Forest University, where founders Dan D’Aquisto, Alex Smereczniak, and Caleb Lamb were aware that no one really likes doing laundry and wanted to offer a service so no one had to.

Smereczniak, co-founder and chief executive officer of 2ULaundry, graduated from Wake Forest with a B.S. in finance in 2014. Before leading 2U, he worked as a financial services consultant at EY after selling another successful laundry services company.

The company operates its own cleaning facilities that focus on being environmentally responsible through the use of a recyclable hanger program, hypoallergenic detergent, and biodegradable reusable bags. 2U offers wash, dry and fold, wash and hang dry, or dry clean and press services.

Private companies relying on a Reg D exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but must file a Form D electronically with the SEC after they sell their securities.

Cary-based technology startup WorkerSense raises $50,000

By Taylor Street

WorkerSense Inc. has raised $50,000 in a private equity offering, according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The industrial technology startup company hopes to raise an additional $50,000 to make the total offering $100,000.

The company obtained the money from one sole investor in the form of debt and equity, according to the filing.

WorkerSense was founded in May 2016 by Canyon Dell’Omo while obtaining his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at Duke University.

While at Duke, Dell’Omo designed and prototyped the world’s first 3D geometric imaging phantom.

Dell’Omo was the leader of a grant funded ACL injury prevention research project aimed at using Bluetooth motion sensors and electrical simulation for gait adjustment.

WorkerSense uses a device that is easily attachable to a hard hat to study the daily operations of a company and deliver reports that enhance the effectiveness and safety of projects.

Under his leadership, WorkerSense has worked on problems in the construction industry.

Companies relying on a Reg D exemption do not have to register their offering of securities with the SEC, but they must file what’s known as a Form D electronically with the SEC after they first sell their securities.

UNC-Chapel Hill group receives patent for new battery compound

By Bryce Lapping

A group of six researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of California received a patent for a new compound to create more versatile and eco-friendly large-scale batteries, according to a filing Tuesday from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The six originally filed for the patent in late March 2014, at which time three of the inventors were associated with UNC-Chapel Hill.

The inventors sought to create a compound to address the need for sustainable methods to meet the increasingly large demand for energy, according to the patent application.

Lithium batteries have addressed this demand, but their use in large-scale applications – such as transportation, the application notes – remains a point of contention due to poor longevity, cost and combustibility.

The now-patented compound could potentially allow large-scale lithium batteries to work in a variety of temperatures with a low rate of combustibility, all in an eco-friendly manner.

Joseph M. DeSimone, who leads the DeSimone Research Group sponsored by UNC-CH and North Carolina State University, is listed as the lead inventor on the patent.

DeSimone, who has already received more than 150 patents, is one of few to have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, according to his group’s website.

Recently, he championed advancements in 3-D printing. An interview in which he addresses the topic with The Daily Tar Heel can be found here.

Ashish Pandya, who now works as a postdoctoral associate at The Sheiko Group, another research group at UNC-CH, and Dominica Wong, who now works a senior chemist at Eastman Chemical Co., worked for DeSimone’s team at the time of the original filing and are also listed as inventors.

The patent can be found here.