August 31, 2020
INDIANAPOLIS – Elevate Ventures has announced its first investment from the Smart and Advanced Manufacturing Fund (SAM Fund) into MITO Materials. The company’s current round closed with $1 million in seed funding. Additional investors in the round include CavAngels, Clean Energy Trust, Cortado Ventures, Dipalo Ventures, HG Ventures, and VisionTech Partners.
“MITO Materials model is exactly the kind of advanced manufacturing opportunity we and our stakeholders at the state level want to see,” said Mark Gramelspacher, executive director of the Smart and Advanced Manufacturing Fund for Elevate Ventures. “While the road to commercialization is notoriously difficult, there are many market niches where the MITO value proposition could be quite compelling. That combined with their talented team and a new roster of investors will enable them to move forward effectively.”
MITO Materials creates specialty additives that boost performance and durability of fiber-reinforced polymer materials such as resins and epoxies, plastics and fiberglass. The company started as a classroom project in 2016 at Oklahoma State University, where founders Haley and Kevin Keith discovered substantial market demand for low concentration, polymer modifiers.
Over the years, customer interest grew, and upon receiving Phase I NSF SBIR and some pre-seed funding, MITO Materials officially launched in 2018.
Since relocating the company’s headquarters from Oklahoma to Indianapolis in 2019, MITO has seen a 300% increase in customer pipeline growth. The demand increased their need to expand their manufacturing and paved the way for a partnership with Monument Chemical. The partnership has propelled the next phase of growth for MITO.
CEO Haley Keith said the company will use the latest round of funding to expand market outreach, expand manufacturing and grow its patent portfolio. MITO Materials has a total opportunity value of $124 million with customers spanning transportation, marine and recreation sectors.
Kevin Keith, head of product, said, “We’re proud to be Elevate’s first portfolio company in the SAM Fund, but even more excited about the unique opportunity MITO has to become the company that boosts future and existing manufacturers’ ability to create superior products with our materials.”
The SAM Fund, a $3 million fund managed by Elevate Ventures, was launched in June 2020. Focused on smart and advanced manufacturing in Indiana, the fund provides investments, entrepreneurial support, resources and thought leadership to manufacturers and manufacturing entrepreneurs seeking to grow ideas.