Insulation packaging firm American Aerogel growth to accelerate eyeing the $10 billion biopharmaceutical shipping industry

Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

" That's it," said Jay McHarg, his eyes on the silver inch thick wrapped box on his desk.

McHarg, president of the shipping carton manufacturer based insulated Rochester American Aerogel, said mysterious little box is the key to unlocking the biopharmaceutical sector shipping $ 10 billion.

"I saw the opportunity all over the place," said the 6 -year-old company, which produces a panel of content in that bright box called Aerocore VIP, insulation made of airgel owner with a unit of thermal resistance or R- value, more than 10 times that of the polystyrene foam.

Since its inception, the company has grown from seven employees to 45, and sales of 25 to 500 cases per day.

Containers lined with biodegradable Aerocore panels are lighter and smaller than traditional shipping methods. The advanced technology allows extension Aerocore send windows, saying, saves customers a lot of money.

" Your standard home insulation is rated R -13 and is 4 inches thick," McHarg said. " A panel of an inch of airgel has a rating of R-50. "

Someone insulate your house with R-50 airgel panels recognize some very significant savings.

" That I 'd need to heat your home with a candle," he said.

The insulation was discovered "accidentally on purpose" in 1995, when company founders Robert Mendenhall and Greg Andrews, along with two colleagues from Wesleyan University, were in the process of creating an airgel. A lab technician inadvertently read an incorrect list of chemicals, and the batch was mixed. The next day, they found that his error was exactly what we were looking for, and Aerocore born.

" Aerogels, as a kind of material was developed in 1931, but never successfully commercialized," Mendenhall said. " It looked like an opportunity I could take advantage if he could find a way to profitably manufacture the material. "

As luck and a more precise purpose formulated the management team of the company. Along McHarg are David Abruzzese, vice president of finance, Ogrean Christy, director of marketing, Jeff Sullivan, director of business development, and Nick Fusilli, director of operations.

" Not everyone wants to be part of a small company," McHarg said. " You have so much responsibility. 's Fast pace, is innovation. 's A race, and our team loves it. "

McHarg compares day-to- day implementation of "Changing the tires of a car while doing 60 miles per hour. "

No matter how fast or what temperature, American Aerogel plans to stay in the driver's seat of temperature sensitive shipping industry.

"Although we are not the giant, but we know we can not solve," he said. "We're on our way. "

Jay McHarg on running a small business

Get a good lawyer. " You always want to make sure your assets are protected. "

Ask yourself and your partner if you are ready for a roller coaster ride. "There will be failures, there will be setbacks.

You have to be ready for them "

Prepare a business plan well. " But do not fall in love with it. Be you ready for change. "

Find a mentor and hire people who are smarter than you. "You can not do it alone. Talk to people you know (in the industry).