InPore Technologies Creates Products for Water and FireBy Amanda Lewan on February 11th, 2013 /
Two products are on their way from InPore Technologies, both stemming from a unique family of materials, and both creating more environmentally friendly ways for using plastic.
Tom Pinnavaia, Professor of Chemistry at Michigan State University, began investigating highly porous particles made from silica (sand/dirt) to learn more about their unique properties. This eventually led to the development of unique new additives for flame retardant plastics and polymer membranes for water purification systems.
What’s great about these two products from Inpore Technologies? Both products contribute to creating a more environmentally friendly world. Companies can reduce the usage of current flame retardants found in plastics with SILAPORE ™ a non-toxic material, and use MEZZOPORE™ additives in plastic membranes to cut back on energy use within water purification systems.
Mike Brooks, Vice President of Business Development, took the time to talk to us about how important the Michigan startup community has been in helping InPore. From taking third place at the Accelerate Michigan Competition last year, to receiving the GLEQ best business plan in the state in 2010, Mike emphasized the importance of talking to others when taking a product to the market.
“We’ve gotten great support from organizations like AA Spark, the New Enterprise Forum in Ann Arbor,” said Mike. “Get involved with the local organizations, like Spark, GLEQ, and TechTown. Get on these people’s radar so that you can build up a good business plan. You’ve got to have a plan before you do anything.”
One of the biggest challenges InPore Technologies faced was really converting what was created in the lab into a product fit for the marketplace.
“As soon as you can, get out in front of customers and start talking to them to make sure there is something really there,” Mike said.
InPore Technologies is currently working on refining their product and taking it to businesses. Another fun aspect about a scientifically created product, they have plans for more future creations.
“Right now we are focusing on that first killer application in flame or water so that we can demonstrate to the market that we really have a value proposition,” said Mike. “It takes a lot of development work with potential customers and in our lab, but we know we will get there!”