The Silicon Review
“We have global clients and try to make sure we are addressing any unique needs. We want all of our customers to be repeat customers.”
In the last decade, technology has drastically changed the way we live, work and play, but now we are at the dawn of a new era of innovation, driven by the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). As new IoT applications emerge in a variety of settings, from health care and mobility to energy usage and leisure, our personal and professional lives will continue to change for the better.
Nanotechnology is the underlying technology of IoT, the catalyst behind these advanced applications and innovations.
In light of the foregoing, we’re pleased to present Nanoshell Company LLC.
Nanoshell Company specializes in the design, fabrication, characterization, and integration of functional nanomaterials into transformational products and systems. These include personal care products, textiles, polymers, and medicine.
The company was established in 2005 and is based in West Valley City, Utah.
Dr. Agnes Ostafin & Dr. Hiroshi Mizukami: Interview Excerpt
Why was the company set up? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
We started Nanoshell Company as a privately held early stage R&D company in 2005. Our initial focus has been on utilizing nanotechnology to create practical solutions for pressing biomedical needs. We have enjoyed the generous support of federal and state grants for the development of several, key, patented medical technologies relating to the use of nanoparticles in blood therapeutics and pharma. While we continue to work in this area, we realized that we have learned a lot about formulation of nanomaterials and ingredients, and have expanded our outlook to include the manufacture of ingredients and products that have a more direct impact on consumers. Our expertise is in the manufacture of safe and effective nano-ingredients that are then used to develop safe, effective, and revolutionary products for our global customers. We provide custom personal care product ingredient development for a variety of regulatory classes and small-scale manufacturing services for the personal care industry. This includes, but is not limited to: skin care, hair care, homeopathic, and OTC products.
What challenges did you face in your initial years?
Over the years we have learned that introducing new kinds of materials and approaches into an existing commercial market requires us to put ourselves in the shoes of the user and make sure that we address their needs. In our medically-related projects we realized that what was missing were easy to use tools for the end user, that would enable them to establish quality processes, have minimum waste and ensure ultimate safety. Without these easy-to-use tools, that add more value to the innovative product we may have created, it is harder for the end user to bring in something new. We use the same approach for our products intended for commercial use. Once we identify the end user then we make sure that our innovative ingredient or products comes with the information and the right adjustments/accessories needed to make it easy to use.
How successful was your first project roll on?
As a B2B seller, we don’t really have a “project roll on”. Our client base has been steadily growing over time.
What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
There is a lot of misinformation regarding nanotechnology, ranging from fear that consumers won’t trust products that have it, fear of being cheated (there are some bad players out there), and just not knowing what advantages they might get if they use the technology in their products. Not all products need nanotechnology but some products are really out to have it. Plus, it depends on the product too. We try to help our clients by first trying to understand what they are trying to accomplish and giving them options. In some product areas, this approach is unheard of as the offerors have only one approach and try to force-fit it into everything. Sometimes, it just does not work that way. We do a fair amount of R&D for each project to start, and if the R&D project turns out to be very complex we can make a separate contract for R&D that goes into depth, not only the making of the product which can be complicated, but how it interacts with cells, live animals, and other things. We work with certified CROs to help get the right experiments were done in an efficient, most cost-effective way.
“Earning trust and respect of consumers all around the world is through consistent focus on delivering high quality in all of our actions.” How do you interpret this statement?
I think it is important to not oversell what you can do and to keep promised schedules. We can always do better on this. We try to provide as thorough as possible physical testing on all our nano-products, and their capabilities and limitations. We have global clients and try to make sure we are addressing any unique needs. We want all of our customers to be repeat customers.
Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?
Everyone in our organization is empowered to make suggestions, propose changes, and listen to each other, our clients, and other people who may someday become clients or users. Sometimes you can get really good ideas from your grandmother or the postman. Even if the message is bad, the messenger is appreciated for their honesty and initiative.
What are the factors that make Nanoshell Company stand out from the competition?
One thing we know for sure is that there is not a one-size-fits all for customers interested in bringing advanced technology successfully into their products. Our firm has over 25 years of experience in the R&D, and commercial application of nanomaterials both hard and soft, and we have depth and breadth of understanding of a large number of chemical environments. Together this allows us to help our clients implement a unique technology, unique formulation into their products. While we have a number of turnkey products we can also create a totally new, system optimized to their product, leaving their competitors in the dust. We can out-innovate anyone. Our rule of thumb: Be helpful. Listen. Advise. If our clients are successful, then we are successful.
How does your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?
We are members of several product councils relevant to the space in which our clients will be using our products. We also work with the local School District to help create a positive learning environment and offer job preparation skills. We are members of several product councils relevant to the space in which our clients will be using our products. We also work with the local School District to help create a positive learning environment and offer job preparation skills.
Do you have any new products ready to be launched?
In addition to our several standard products/custom offerings, we are working on a line of finished cosmetic products that will be offered through our sister company, White Buffalo Cosmetics, in 2021.
Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We are, and will continue to aspire to be a leader in the development of nanotechnology-enabled solutions in a wide range of medical, industrial and consumer product arenas. We envision ourselves as the US and ultimately global go-to nanoingredient company.
Leadership | Nanoshell Company LLC
Dr. Hiroshi Mizukami, Co-founder: Dr. Hiroshi Mizukami is a Co-founder of Nanoshell Company LLC. He has over 35 years of experience in biological physics, blood chemistry, nanotechnology, and device development.
Dr. Mizukami earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Agnes Ostafin, Co-founder: Dr. Agnes Ostafin is a Co-founder of Nanoshell Company LLC. She has over 25 years of nano-biotechnology experience involving nanochemical and biological synthesis, characterization, spectroscopy, and technology development.
Dr. Ostafin earned an MS in Engineering Management from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Minnesota.
“Our mission is to translate the potential benefits of nanotechnology into practical solutions for pressing biomedical, research, and commercial needs.”