Xolve, a young company based on nanomaterials discovered at UW-Platteville, has landed $2 million in its first round of funding.
Investors include DSM, a Dutch life sciences and material sciences company, and the Nordic Group of Companies, based in Baraboo.
"This is potentially game-changing science, what they're doing here," said Todd Sauey, treasurer of the Nordic Group and chief executive of one of its companies, Columbia ParCar Corp. in Reedsburg.
He said the Nordic Group is interested in using the nanomaterials in both its plastic molded products and for energy storage uses. The materials are expected to make plastics stronger and more lightweight, Sauey said. They may also be used to lighten the electric vehicles Columbia ParCar makes and give them more storage capacity, expanding their potential range, he said.
John Biondi, Xolve's president and chief executive, said the funds will let the company hire staff — probably 10 to 12 employees in the first year. Working with industry partners, they will form teams to focus on three industrial segments: composite materials; coatings for products such as architectural glass and solar panels; and energy storage.
"It's very exciting, especially for the scientific founders, UW-Platteville professor James Hamilton, and former student Philip Streich. It's such a broad-based platform technology, it took nearly two years to do the patenting and licensing on this," Biondi said. "I think this thing has huge potential to it."
Xolve won the 2008 Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan contest and was a finalist in a national CleanTech business competition in October. The technology has been featured in Scientific American magazine.
Also among the first-round investors are Peak Ridge Capital, a Boston investment firm with offices in Madison, and New Capital Fund, Appleton, as well as a group of individual investors.