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U of Akron start-up launches online sales of its super-strong adhesive

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: February 6th, 2019

A start-up from the University of Akron has developed a new, super-strong adhesive with a wide range of potential applications.

Akron Ascent Innovation (AAI) has begun online sales of ShearGrip, a line of fiber-based, dry-adhesive products including bulletin boards, sticky-note paper, photo paper and more. The technology uses electrospun nanofibers that have a small enough diameter to hold tight to surfaces yet can still peel away without causing damage.

Launched by John Wong, a professor at the University of Akron, and Barry Rosenbaum, senior fellow at the University of Akron Research Foundation, AAI was at first limited in its production of the material, due to the lack of space at its lab in the Akron Global Business Accelerator. Now the start-up is working with another university spinout that has a production facility where AAI can create large-scale rolls of the nanomaterial.

“We can make thousands of meters of it now,” says Kevin White, AAI’s principal scientist and chief operating officer.

The company’s product strategy is a work in progress. While the company is excited to get its initial adhesive products on the market, company officials are looking for feedback from customers to help them figure out exactly where the best market opportunities lie. “We want to put this in as many places as we can. See where it works, see where it delivers value and where it doesn’t,” White said. The company will then adjust accordingly, he said.

The startup has received support from the National Science Foundation and through federal funding, including a $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research grant. White says the next step for AAI is to transition out of investment and into revenue, which he hopes the online product launch will help accomplish.

Source: Crain’s Cleveland Business

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