UA student wins investors' confidence


The Student Venture Fund at The University of Akron, a chapter of the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund, selected student-run, technology-spinoff company ADAP Nanotech, LCC to receive $25,000 in student-raised startup funds. ADAP, an advanced materials company centered on microprocessor heat management, was one of two finalists competing to receive the award. The other finalist was Stockl.y, a real-time financial news and research website.

Founded by UA graduate student Sunny Sethi and Dr. Ali Dhinojwala, UA Department of Polymer Science chair and Morton Professor of Polymer Science, ADAP is based on the application of carbon nanotubes to thermal interface materials, subsequently creating nanotech©, a material that conducts heat in consumer electronics.

Increase in local high-tech jobs is expected

"Our main technology — carbon nanotube-based composite structures — is an emerging advanced material with many applications and vast potential,” says Sethi, ADAP chief technology officer. “ADAP Nanotech's efforts are expected to result in an increase in local high-tech jobs and talent retention. The infrastructure would also help other carbon nanotube-based industries in Ohio."

The Student Venture Fund selected ADAP for its patent-pending technology and proven broad applicability to the consumer electronics industry, to allow the company to introduce the product to the market and fuel the regional economy, according to John Myers, vice president of the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF).

The NEOSVF is an independent, 501c(3) organization that is a collaboration of colleges and universities in Northeast Ohio. According to Wayne Watkins, board member of NEOSVF, the student-led funds are expected to perform evaluations of startups and make real dollar investments to the most promising companies.

Regional economic development a goal

“The goal is to provide an experiential learning opportunity to Northeast Ohio college students who gain the confidence to begin their own companies, become investors or become employed by startups, while fostering economic development in the region,” Watkins says.

The UA chapter of NEOSVF is comprised of graduate students across various disciplines. After evaluating seven companies, two — ADAP and Stockl.y — were selected for further consideration and went through an expansive due-diligence process by the student investment teams, which made the final funding recommendation to the NEOSVF board of directors. The announcement was made at the Akron Regional Change Angels (ARCHAngels) investment network meeting on Feb. 9 at Martin University Center on the UA campus.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or