After co-founding the advanced materials start-up ZeoVation in 2016 with his doctoral advisor at The Ohio State University, Dr. Bo Wang made the tactical choice in 2020 to move their company to the Prince William Science Accelerator in Innovation Park—only weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“2019 was an amazing year where we were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and I spent about 200 days on the road talking to experts and investors,” says Wang, CEO. “We made a lot of progress on market validation and customer discovery. In 2020, that number of days on the road was close to zero. It was a dramatic change because of the pandemic.”
ZeoVation is the first and only commercial provider of zeolite nanoparticles. Over the last few years, the company has developed a standardized operating procedure to produce this material and started exploring wide and exceptional application advantages.
By effectively "functionalizing" the microporous mineral zeolite in the lab, Wang and his team have developed a unique, patent-pending “smart” particle platform with many applications. ZeoVation has developed a highly efficient and easily formulated antimicrobial additive and a long-lasting and broad coverage sunscreen active ingredient.
In the fall of 2020, ZeoVation was awarded a $1 million NSF SBIR Phase II funding. Demand continues to grow for dispersed zeolite nanoparticles and hierarchical zeolite particles, and ZeoVation has continued to grow their production capacity.
Zeovation was one of the first winners in the IGNITE program, a non-dilutive grant program offered by Prince William County Department of Economic Development with a $25K cash grant for early-stage companies and $50K for companies with funding.
“Our IGNITE grant is giving us a good opportunity to get in front of people, to build connections, and get resources to generate a good start here in Prince William County,” says Wang. “With my co-founder Professor Prabir Dutta, we have started building connections with the university system including George Mason University and Virginia Tech and the overall Virginia bioscience ecosystem.”
In early July, Zeovation was awarded $100,000 in the inaugural funding round for the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF), which focuses on commercialized research projects in Virginia across an array of sectors, including the life sciences.
“ZeoVation is a marriage of bioscience and manufacturing,” says Wang. “We are manufacturing a product that may help combat the larger threats to public health and still make everyday life easier and safer.”
Located at 111000 Endeavor Circle, Innovation Park in the Prince William Science Accelerator