Akron Ascent Innovations LLC (AAI), a startup company from the University of Akron Research Foundation, announced the formation of a strategic partnership with Velcro Companies to commercialize a range of AAI dry adhesive products. The strategic partnership includes a capital investment by Velcro Companies and a joint development and commercialization agreement under which the companies will collaborate on product solutions that combine AAI’s adhesives with VELCRO® Brand hook and loop technologies and other innovations.
“We’re thrilled by this opportunity to combine AAI’s ground breaking adhesive technology platform with the market understanding and development resources of Velcro Companies, an organization that has been innovating for seven decades,” AAI CEO Barry Rosenbaum said. “We couldn’t ask for a better strategic collaborator.”
Mark Sater, Vice President of Strategic Execution for Velcro Companies, said: “Velcro Companies has a long heritage of using technological innovation to solve complex problems and develop groundbreaking new products. We see tremendous potential to commercialize the adhesives technology that AAI has developed and look forward to a very productive collaboration.”
AAI’s core technology platform is the production of unique “dry adhesives” that have extremely strong shear adhesion, while maintaining low peel strength. The patented technologies are based on the research of University of Akron Mechanical Engineering Professor Josh Wong. Prior to the company’s formation in 2012, AAI’s key team members completed the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, which tasks university teams with interviewing 100 potential customers to understand customer needs in their market.
AAI has received grant funding from the NSF SBIR Phase 1 and Phase 2 programs and the Ohio Third Frontier’s Technology Validation and Startup Fund. AAI has also received investment from the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund.
AAI’s laboratories are located at the Akron Global Business Accelerator in downtown Akron. The company has three full-time and six part-time employees, including several student interns from The University of Akron.
About Velcro Companies:
Velcro Companies is a technology-driven, global organization providing fastening solutions that solve problems in simple, elegant and surprising ways for businesses and consumers around the world. We have a heritage of innovation spanning more than 50 years and own over 400 active patents and numerous trademarks, including the VELCRO® trademark, which is registered throughout the world. We develop and deliver solutions for customers through an integrated production and service system that includes manufacturing locations in the United States, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain and China and sales offices around the world. To buy genuine VELCRO® brand products and to find out more about our company, visit www.velcro.com.