Janas Materials Inc., an Iowa G2M cohort participant, was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board as recommended by the Technology Commercialization Committee. The funds will be used for IP development and evaluation, proof of concept work and product refinement.

Janas Materials is an ISU spin-off developing a sustainable technology for the coating industry to improve the appearance and application of water-based wood stains.

According to Janas Materials Co-Founder Shan Jiang, the startup has developed novel additives that can be mixed into commercial water-based wood stain products, drastically improving the color consistency and providing wood-stain producers a safer and more environmentally-friendly product over traditional oil-based stains.

“Our nanoparticle technology aims to revolutionize the commercial wood stain industry by eliminating the lapping issue currently seen in water-based stains,” Jiang said. “Oil-based stains do not experience the same lapping issue but have serious safety and environmental concerns. By using our new additive that eliminates lapping, wood stain producers can switch over to manufacturing more environmentally-friendly water-based stain products without concern of compromising product quality.”

With this enabling $25,000 award from the IEDA Board, Jiang said Janas Materials will be poised to develop capacity to thoroughly benchmark the technology with a strategic customer in a commercial product.

Janas Materials is a Cohort 10 member of the ISU Startup Factory, a 16-week startup incubator operated by the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship, and a Cohort 3 member of the Iowa Go-to-Market (G2M) accelerator program. The G2M accelerator, enabled by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, is operated by the Startup Factory in partnership with BioConnect Iowa and VentureNet Iowa. Through the programs, the company has received formal training through curriculums centered on business validation, customized mentoring, resources and access to a network of business mentors, advisors, counselors and investors.

In this round, the IEDA Board approved awards for two companies, which will assist in the creation of 133 jobs and result in nearly $24 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding in support of four startups located in Ames, Brighton, Clive and Wayland.