In case you requested me to call the occupation most much like entrepreneurship, I might say science. Each are based mostly on problem-solving, experimentation, information, and the boldness to acknowledge that failure is a essential facet of the trail to success.
Paige Johnson, founder and CEO of Tulsa-based Ten-9 Applied sciences, is a famous analysis chemist, nanotechnology inventor, and entrepreneur who comfortably wears each hats — science and entrepreneurship.
Johnson invented the know-how for a brand new class of non-toxic nanomaterials with vitality equivalence to fossil fuels. However there have been quite a lot of velocity bumps alongside the best way.
“I do not suppose I understood that to begin a enterprise — particularly a scientific enterprise, the boundaries might be so excessive,” Johnson stated. “At one level, proper after our seed spherical, our synthesis course of stopped working. We did not know why. Day by day we did 16 experiments per day that baked in an oven in a single day.”
Johnson and her workforce would come within the subsequent morning filled with dread. This went on for months — 272 experiments. Lastly, experiment 273 labored. The know-how (with 4 accredited and one other 15 filed patents pending) was validated by two impartial sources. It’s a world-first achievement of fossil-fuel stage vitality density in a battery materials. Ten-9 Applied sciences obtained the 2017 Battery Innovation Heart (BIC) award for the event of hydrocarbon parity lithium battery know-how.
With validated battery prototypes, the corporate was able to scale.
“It was a protracted exhausting struggle to lift cash, greater than eighteen months,” Johnson stated. “We speak loads about new manufacturing jobs, however we discovered that there’s an undervaluation by capital markets of the creation of recent manufacturing jobs. There may be the notion that tough know-how, or deep know-how as they name it — making the bodily objects that make the digital world run — is way extra dangerous than digital, but digital companies go bankrupt on a regular basis.”
The subsequent roadblock was the reluctance of coastal VCs to put money into a Midwest firm, however Johnson overcame that too, convincing a notable group of Oklahoma and Midwestern buyers — funds and angels — of the industrial potential of Ten-9 Applied sciences’ nanomaterial, which might considerably lengthen the battery lifetime of issues we depend on most. That led to a $5 million Sequence A spherical.
— to oklahoman.com