The newest tenant of the Allentown Economic Development Corp.'s Bridgeworks Enterprise Center is celebrating its opening tonight.
TRuCapSol is a manufacturer of time-release capsules that can be used in consumer products.
The product it is developing could be considered the next generation of the micro bead, a product that people loved in their lotions but fell from favor when it was discovered that the plastic wasn’t breaking down properly and was ending up in rivers and oceans.
David Brand, CEO of TRuCapSol, said his product solves that problem because it is made of materials that are strong enough to protect its contents, such as the fragrance in a laundry detergent as it goes through the washing cycle, but then naturally biodegrades over time.
“When you’re strategizing for business you want to look for pain points,” Brand said, noting he saw the need to have a product that could act like a micro bead without the polluting side effects.
“What we’re essentially trying to do is mimic Mother Nature by trying to mimic a seed in the way we encapsulate active ingredients,” he said.
The company, which he runs with chief technology officer Jiten Dihora, performed much of its research and development work at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s TechVentures technology incubator in Bethlehem.
But it was time to grow and the staff at TechVentures recommended Bridgeworks, which is a manufacturing incubator, as the place to go to take the business to the next level.
“We’re more mature in our science now. We’re actually sampling customers,” Brand said.
The space at Bridgeworks gives the company lab and manufacturing room so it can make its products on a larger scale to demonstrate to potential customers.
And it is seeing some success.
“We’ve actually had some sales,” Brand said.
Brand said the ultimate goal, of course, is to outgrow the incubator space.
“But we’re still in the early stages,” he said.
The company does expect to remain in the Bridgeworks for the next several years as it grows.
Anthony Durante, AEDC program manager, said he’s happy to have the company in the space for as long as it needs it.
“The team at TRuCapSol has built out an amazing space, the first of its kind in the building,” said Durante. “Not only will it serve their company well for several years, but it will be a terrific space for another startup company needing a wet lab that is suited for scaling up from R&D to production.”