VT KnowledgeWorks Member Company Abokia Wins SCOUT Award from LeClairRyan

From VT KnowledgeWorks sponsor LeClairRyan:

LeClairRyan is pleased to announce that Abokia has been selected as the recipient of the first Southwest Virginia Connection for Originating Unique Technology (SCOUT) Award. The LeClairRyan SCOUT award recognizes an entrepreneur or emerging business in southwest Virginia with a unique idea that is poised for the next stage of its evolution.

Abokia seeks to deliver easily customizable and massively accelerated biocomputing software in order to address the inability of today’s computing technology to keep up with the exponential growth in genomic sequencing information.  Specifically, with the computing required to perform routine sequence analysis increasing 100-fold every 18 months, a growth rate that is 50-fold more than the projected computing capability of processors, Abokia’s innovative software solutions promise to bridge this ever-widening gap, thus enabling scientists and engineers to accelerate discovery in the life sciences.

“With the looming deluge of DNA promised by today’s sequencing technologies, our society sits at the dawn of a new era where high-end computing has become the key to unleashing discoveries in the life sciences,” said Dr. Heshan Lin, founder of Abokia.  “As such, Abokia sits at the nexus of high-end computing, bioinformatics, and genomics to enable scientists to make discoveries faster and at a fraction of the cost.  Initially, we will be commercializing the cutting-edge bioinformatics research coming out of Virginia Tech.”

Abokia will deliver their massively accelerated biocomputing software through the use of emerging commodity computing platforms that will enable users to access information on demand – whether on their smartphone, laptop or desktop.  Abokia’s products encompass technology related to algorithmic transformation, computational acceleration, and I/O acceleration.  The end result of the convergence of these technologies will be an increase in both processing speed and data transfer capabilities that will ultimately enhance a multitude of downstream processes such as biomanufacturing, rational drug design, and real-time pathogen detection.

“We are invested in knowing the business needs of our venture capital clients,” said LeClairRyan Venture Capital Practice Area Team Leader Michael Drzal. “Being immersed in the industry, we recognize there are many exceptional Southwest Virginia entrepreneurs with great ideas who are seeking capital. Establishing this award was a natural outgrowth of our desire to invest in those entrepreneurs and their ideas.  I am very pleased we can assist Abokia in bringing this cutting edge technology to the bioinformatics/genomics market.”

As the recipient of the award, Abokia will receive up to $15,000 in legal services over the next 12 months.  The firm plans to offer the award again in 2011.  The application process will begin in August 2010.

About LeClair Ryan
Founded in 1988, LeClairRyan provides business counsel and client representation in corporate law and high-stakes litigation.  With offices in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the firm has more than 300 attorneys representing a wide variety of clients throughout the nation.


The SCOUT Award was first announced on Handshake 2.0 when LeClairRyan was featured in the Rackspace Tech Showcase.


VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley of Virginia and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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