Nilton Renno never intended to start a business. The University of Michigan professor of engineering had helped develop a technology that detects and measures electric fields and took it to an industry conference. The technology proved to be so popular with his peers that Renno began to commercialize it as its own start-up,
Electric Field Solutions
"I was surprised about the reaction to our technology," Renno says. "They said it has a wide variety of applications in industry."
The University of Michigan spin out has spent its first year developing its technology at the university's Venture Accelerator
. The technology, which is being branded as Charge Tracker, locates electric charge buildup on objects located tens of feet away from it. This sort of technology is usually used by the consumer electronics industry to prevent the electric charges from harming their products, but Renno sees a broader application.
"After talking to many different companies most don't realize there is a problem," Renno says. "They don't know about it because there isn't a product to measure it. Our technology allows them to detect and measure the problem."
The Ann Arbor-based start-up recently received a microloan from the Michigan Microloan Fund Program that will help modify its electric field sensor to be used in industrial applications. It is currently used for research. The redesigned sensor will be used in customer visits in an effort to identify the most attractive market segment to pursue.
Electric Field Solutions currently employs two people and a couple of independent contractors. The company is also looking to hire a mechanical engineer.
Source: Nilton Renno, CTO & co-inventor of Electric Field Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.