2013 Road to Palm Springs

Finalist profile

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Mark Fischer-Colbrie
President and CEO
Rich Ellson
Cofounder and CTO
LabCyte Inc.

The frustration of using traditional methods to handle liquids in laboratories sent Rich Ellson and Mark Fischer-Colbrie to work in a garage shared with two dogs, a washer and a dryer. At the time, this laboratory did not seem like “innovation central,” but through the use of now-patented acoustic wave technology, the team developed a device to move micro-liquids, changing scientific laboratory work.

The Echo Liquid Handler has potentially unlimited applications and is currently used in the biotechnical and pharmaceutical fields. It provides touchless liquid handling capability and acoustic energy to transfer controlled and minute amounts of liquids without contact. The device eliminates user error and cross-contamination, with great precision.

Rich and Mark developed a cost-effective solution that revolutionized liquid handling in laboratory testing. Together they have 62 patents to hang on the garage wall.