The Most Fundable Companies initiative was launched in the United States to point investors towards the most promising start-ups.
The list of 15 early-stage U.S. start-ups identified as the most promising for investors, included Neuvokas Corporation, a manufacturer of basalt composite rebar under GatorBar brand.
Neuvokas competed against thousands of early-stage U.S. companies with less than $10 million in annual revenue to be named one of the most fundable companies in the United States.
The Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and the Venture Alliance (TVA) partnered to create this rating. Participants were assessed on the basis of their financial projections, market opportunity, intellectual property, and the strength of the management team.
Recognizing that competition for funding is getting tighter we developed the Most Fundable Companies initiative to assist angel and venture capital investors in identifying early-stage startups that are worthy of investment,
said Craig Everett, and director of the Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project.
Neuvokas was founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Erik Kiilunen. The idea to start continuous basalt fiber- based (CBF) rebar production appeared after reading the report of the American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA), which described CBF advantages.
The production facility was set up in the abandoned machine shop located on the outskirts of ghost town Ahmeek, Michigan state, once the center of the copper boom and the world leader in copper production.
The main challenge was to produce basalt composite rebars that is able to compete in cost with those made of steel but the company’s team succeeded. Another advantage that Neuvokas offers is leveraging sustainable technologies.
GatorBar production process takes just a sixth of the energy that steel rebar production needs. It is seven times lighter resulting in less fuel for transportation. Moreover, corrosion resistance allows reducing concrete consumption.
In 2013, Neuvokas raised $ 1.2 million dollars. This was followed by a series of various grants with the largest from the National Scientific Organization in amount of about $ 1.5 million.
Constantly improving technology, in 2017 the start-up reached a production rate of 45.72 m of rebar per minute. The new target is 76.2 m / min, says Eric Kiilunen, the founder and CEO of Neuvokas Corporation.
The company’s staff has grown from 10 to 23 people. Currently, a new production facility is being built and scheduled to open next year. Over the last five years, GatorBar sale volume has increased from $ 4,400 to $ 1 million and is expected to reach $ 4 million by the end of 2018.
According to the experts, global composite rebar market is projected to grow with 9.6% CAGR during the next five years, and by 2024 its volume will reach over $ 578.4 million.