A Rochester medical device start-up that sells a specialty eye dropper landed an estimated $500,000 contract with the U.S. Air Force.

Nanodropper, co-founded by a Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine student, designed and makes a specialized eye drop bottle adapter that reduces medicine waste by delivering a more precise drop for patients and doctors.

Allisa Song, a third-year medical student, is CEO and co-founder of the company. Song founded the company in 2017 while at the University of Washington with Elias Baker, Jennifer Steger and Mackenzie Andrews. They later moved the young business to Rochester.

They developed the precision eye dropper and soon found success in business start-up competitions, like Mayo Clinic’s Walleye Tank. Nanodropper also landed a $35,500 in Launch Minnesota grant from the state.

The company began shipping its U.S.-made product in late June.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

“We have filled hundreds of orders so far. We have not hit the thousand mark ... yet,” said Robbie Spencer, Nanodroppers’s marketing manager.

The company signed a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract with the U.S. Air Force worth an estimated $49,000 that was recently followed by a Phase II contract worth an estimated $500,000.

“Our Phase II contract with the Air Force will help us develop an extension of our current solution to over-sized eyedrops to meet the needs of the Air Force patient population, and beyond,” Nanodropper’s Chief Commercialization Officer Mackenzie Andrews wrote in a statement.

What are the next steps for Nanodropper?

“We're focusing on expanding our collaborations with eye-care professionals and building up a base of partner clinics,” wrote Spencer. “We are also in the process of organizing clinical trials and are searching for partners to conduct these trials.”

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 507-285-7798.