Gibson's participation in the business plan contest did, however, provide greater visibility for the efforts of then-called Oshkosh Nanotechnology, which eventually gained the attention of Tom Shannon and Shamrock Partners, an angel group that provided nearly $600,000 in seed funding in early 2011.
"There were very few people who would take the chance at funding him at such an early stage," Shannon
said, noting Gibson was still early in the development process.
"Most investors want revenue, and almost all want a product.
We want to optimize a concept."
partners gambled on the potential of Gibson's innovative concept.
Small ultra capacitors about the size and density of a wristwatch battery but with about a million times more energy storage capacity and significantly more powerful bursts of energy output would be a substantial benefit to industry.
And while there are literally hundreds of battery manufacturers around the world, very few do so with activated nanoparticles, and none can do it as less expensive or quicker than the processes developed by Gibson, according to Shannon
Since capturing new financial investment nearly two years ago, the start-up firm - which changed its name to Shamrock Energy Corp.
and is setting up shop in Neenah next month - has demonstrated proof of concept, and is wrapping up an initiative with a large, publicly-traded industry to confirm its metrics.
The company has already developed relationships with end-market users such as electronics manufacturers, and hopes to begin producing finished product by the end of this year, said Gibson.
Even though it's taken two years, Shannon
said the end result has been the development of three different and distinct nanomaterial applications, each which would provide solutions for three different vertical markets, expanding potential for increased profitability and growth.
The company secured $1.3 million in angel funding a year ago from a group of 15 investors, which was lead by Shannon of Shamrock Partners, who also serves as the chairman of the board for Aver Informatics, a role he holds for Shamrock Energy Corp. as well as a handful of other firms.
After developing the software further and using it in a Beta phase with a large health insurer, the organization realized it didn't just have a software which was a critical solution for the health insurance industry - Aver Informatics
had developed a tool which can deconstruct and then reconstruct loads of information very quickly, an application that has the potential to extend far beyond just health insurance.
"We have a lot more than what we expected a year ago as far as potential customers and end users for this (innovation)," Shannon
The result has been a re-evaluation of the company's potential providing data management solutions for other vertical markets such as other areas of insurance, banking and pharmaceuticals.
said the company has applied for patents to protect its intellectual property relative to the software's capabilities.
expects another round of financing will be coming up shortly to infuse Aver Informatics
with additional capital.
In the meantime, the company is about to get out of the starting blocks on its way to profitability.
said agreements are already in place with a number of large, publicly traded companies, and the horizon of opportunity continues to expand.
"It's a big space we're in now and it's (growth is) accelerating," Shannon