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Posted: February 14, 2008
Entrepreneur Says 3 Companies Interested in Firm's Nanotechnology
(Nanowerk News) An Upstate (South Carolina) entrepreneur says three big corporations are interested in incorporating his startup companyís nanotechnology into their products.
Michael Bolick, founder and chief executive of Selah Technologies, a seven-employee startup trying to strike it rich with nanotechnology developed at Clemson University, said he hopes to sign a joint research agreement with one of the corporations, a major lighting company, by the end of the month.
Bolick said heís also negotiating a joint research agreement with a major cosmetics company, though so far heís hit a roadblock on terms, and has inked an agreement to provide sample materials to a major healthcare company.
He declined to identify the corporations, but said they are all part of the "Fortune 500," referring to the business magazineís ranking of the largest public companies in the United States.
"We should have some exciting news no later than March," Bolick said Wednesday.
Bolick, a former executive at the Irix Pharmaceuticals plant in southern Greenville County, founded Selah Technologies in 2006 by securing the rights to commercialize two technologies invented by Clemson chemistry professor Ya-Ping Sun.
He provided an update on his company Wednesday during a luncheon sponsored by the Greenville Anderson Spartanburg Technology Council at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Bolick used the occasion to announce the hiring of Warren Weeks as Selah Technologiesí vice president of product development.
Weeks previously investigated startup companies across South Carolina as technology director for SC Launch, an arm of the South Carolina Research Authority which provides seed capital to startups and which provided $200,000 to Selah Technologies.
"Having been around the state in the last couple of years, Iíve been exposed to many, many startups, and to me Selah is one of the most-exciting startups in the state," Weeks said.
Weeks has a bachelorís degree in ceramic engineering from Clemson and a masterís degree in materials science and engineering from North Carolina State University. Heís also been a co-founder and executive with advanced materials startups in Raleigh and Northern Virginia.
Selah Technologies occupies about 1,000 square feet in a business "incubator" in Pendleton operated by the Clemson University Research Foundation. It plans to move eventually into a different a business incubator that Clemson plans to build at its Advanced Materials Center in Anderson County, Bolick said.
Clemson recently secured $5 million in state money to build the 28,000-square-foot Innovation Center in Anderson County along State 87 between the universityís main campus and Interstate 85.
One of the technologies Selah Technologies has licensed from Clemson is light-emitting nanoparticles called "carbon-based quantum dots." The other is called "carbon single-walled nanotubes." Both have a wide range of commercial applications, Bolick has said.
Selah Technologies will sell the nanotechnology in a form that resembles black carbon powder. The company eventually hopes to launch a manufacturing facility in the Upstate.