WASHINGTON – Gross-Wen Technologies, Inc. (GWT), an Ames, Iowa-based startup company, was one of 11 SBDC clients from across the country showcased during America’s Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) fourth annual 2018 Client Showcase and Reception on Tuesday, February 13th on Capitol Hill. SBDC leaders, congress members, advisors, clients, partners and stakeholders gathered for the event to celebrate the SBDCs work and learn more about the featured clients’ products, services and success working with their local SBDC.
“The most important part of what SBDCs do is the clients. Our impact numbers for the national economy are impressive but, what is really impressive is the hard work, ideas and success of our SBDC clients. This showcase gives a glimpse at the array of innovators, and doers that SBDCs help every day all across the country,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President & CEO of America’s SBDC.
GWT, founded in 2013, is commercializing an algal wastewater treatment technology developed at Iowa State University. The technology, called the Revolving Algal Biofilm Treatment System (RAB), removes nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants from municipal and industrial wastewaters. The algae biomass that is produced can then be used as a slow-release algal fertilizer.
“Our technology focuses on helping rural Iowa communities meet the new, more stringent, water standards at a lower cost,” GWT co-founder and president Dr. Martin Gross said. “Our patented process is not only sustainable but also carbon negative; and, the vertical orientation of our product means it uses far less space than conventional algal treatment systems. Those are all game-changers for smaller treatment plants.”
GWT received assistance from America’s SBDC Iowa’s Iowa State University (ISU) Regional Center located in Ames. Lisa Shimkat, State Director, said the company was selected for this year’s SBDC client showcase due to the rapid growth GWT has seen since its inception.
“Gross-Wen Technologies is a perfect example of a very early-stage company that needed help turning a novel idea into a viable business,” Shimkat said. “After developing the technology in an Iowa State lab, GWT turned to the SBDC to start the process of figuring out next steps–how to get the technology out of the lab and turn it into a viable business.”
Gross explains, “The SBDC saved us time and connected us to key individuals which helped push things along efficiently.”
Gross said the most surprising part of starting his own business was the amount of support GWT received in Ames between assistance from Iowa State/SBDC and other centers such as the ISU Startup Factory, Ag Startup Engine and the Center for Crop Utilization and Research. GWT is a member of the ISU Startup Factory’s inaugural cohort that graduated in June 2017. GWT is located in the ISU Startup Factory, housed at the Iowa State University Research Park.
“It was great to see the support on the national level from our Iowa congressmen and women,” Gross said. “They all recognize the importance of water quality and were extremely supportive of our Iowa grown solution.”
In addition to GWT, other SBDC clients featured were Alt Ethos (Colorado), Dignitas Technologies (Florida), WaterStep (Ohio), Tadpole LLC (Louisiana), Kepley Biosystems, Inc. (North Carolina), Play Impossible (Pennsylvania), S2S Surgical (Rhode Island), Taste Elevated (Texas), Whooshh Innovations (Washington), and MobCraft Beer (Wisconsin).
About Gross-Wen Technologies, Inc.
Gross-Wen Technologies is an Iowa-based company working to solve one of the world’s largest problems, water quality. The company was founded in 2013 by Dr. Martin Gross and Dr. Zhiyou Wen, and is based on a technology they developed at Iowa State University. The algae system is capable of cost effectively recovering nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater. For more information on GWT, visit gross-wen.com
About America’s SBDC Iowa
America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa 50011, Tel. 515-294- 7612, Hotline: 515-294-1222, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since program inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training workshops. For more information on America’s SBDC Iowa programs or services, call (515) 294-2030 or visit www.iowasbdc.org, https://www.facebook.com/AmericasSBDCIowa, or https://twitter.com/IowaSBDC.
About ISU Startup Factory
The Iowa State University (ISU) Startup Factory is a 52-week intensive program housed at the ISU Research Park (ISURP). Entrepreneurs in the Startup Factory receive formal training, resources, and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors, and investors in two 26-week blocks: the first a formal curriculum centered on business validation, and the second, customized to their individual business needs. For more information on the ISU Startup Factory program, call 515-294-7444 or visit isustartupfactory.org