A chemistry professor at Wooster College had been working on an experimental, patented nano-glass for a few years, but couldn’t find commercial interest. By chance, he ended up on an airplane in 2008 with entrepreneur Stephen Spoonamore, who noted shape-changing glass as “a huge discovery.” Stephen asked how it was advancing.
“During our initial conversations, the professor said no one was taking him seriously, but I took his science very seriously,” says Stephen. Four hours after landing, Stephen had initial funding in place and a deal proposed. Now, he is CEO of Absorbent Materials Company, which develops recoverable silica-based materials that separate oils from water or absorb toxins from water. The company has a production plant and labs in Wooster, and a range of products in development.
For its innovative work, ABS Materials received a Lorain County Community College Foundation Innovation Fund Award and funding from investors, including North Coast Angel Fund, JumpStart, and Harris and Harris Ventures from New York. Also, the company is a part of BioHio at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
“Sixteen months after that plane ride, the company has 22 employees and may double its workforce by the end of 2010,” said Stephen.
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