Technology with origins at Fairfield University receives $150,000 in financing from Connecticut Innovations


Image: Axiom fundingConnecticut Innnovations, the state's quasi-public authority responsible for technology-based economic development has committed $150,000 in pre-seed funding to an exciting technology product that has its origins at Fairfield University.

The monies will go to Shelton, Conn.-based Axiom Education LLC, that will use the financing to continue product development, sales and marketing projects for Mentor, an innovative web-based service created by Fairfield University faculty member Curtis R. Naser, Ph.D.

Commenting on the news, Dr. Naser said, "We are very gratified to have this investment by Connecticut Innovations. CI provides a rigorous review process and this award provides both validation for our company and resources that will allow us to ramp up our sales and marketing activities. We look forward to working with the CI staff as we progress through this investment."

Connecticut Innovations stimulates high-tech growth by investing in early-stage Connecticut technology companies, university/industry research collaborations and technology transfer.

It was in 2009 that Fairfield University signed a contract with Axiom to market Mentor, an online tool for educators developed at Fairfield by Dr. Naser, associate professor of philosophy who is also Axiom's co-founder and chief product officer. Mentor - proving to be of great value to teachers and students at elementary and secondary schools and colleges - is Axiom's core technology. It integrates assessment of student learning outcomes methodologies into the fabric of an online course management system.

In a press release issued by Connecticut Innovations, it was noted: "Axiom Education is a great example of the interconnection of innovation, education and economic development. Having licensed its core technology from Fairfield University, Axiom Education is tapping into one of our state's strongest resources - the intellectual capital residing at Connecticut colleges and universities," said Claire Leonardi, chief executive officer and executive director of CI. "Axiom Education demonstrates how important it is for businesses, particularly entrepreneurial ventures, to cultivate relationships with our institutions of higher education. These are the kind of investments the Malloy administration is pursuing because they foster innovation, creativity, job growth, and ultimately will lead to Connecticut's economic revival."

Dr. Naser is the facilitator for academic assessment at Fairfield. "We've come a long way from the original course management system I created after being frustrated by the other choices on the market," Dr. Naser commented. "I believe that Mentor delivers an assessment alternative that is superior to any other solution available today."


Image: In 2009, Dr. Curtis R. Naser, associate professor of philosophy at Fairfield, and Rev. Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., senior vice president of academic affairs, left, signed an agreement with Connecticut-based Axiom, represented by Donald E. Bodnar, president, second from left, and Chett Rubenstein, CTO.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on June 21, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 321