Anderson, Indiana

Kennedy helps local company develop new antimicrobial product

Tue, 2013-01-29 14:50 -- univcomm
January 29, 2013

Nate Richardson’s kids haven’t been sick in four years.

That’s because his house is “Monofoil clean,” he says.

Monofoil, registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, prevents the reproduction of icky things like staph, E. coli, MRSA, H1N1, fungi and black mold. It gets its name because, under a microscope, the molecule resembles a fencing foil.

The difference between it and other similar products is “durability,” Richardson said, since it can stay on surfaces for weeks, months and even years.

Richardson, a disabled veteran, and business partner Dave Parker sell it through their company, Coeus Technologies — that’s “Coeus,” like the Greek Titan.

[Photo: Nate Richardson, president and managing partner of Coeus Technologies, stands in the space at the Flagship business park where the company plans to move its operations. Credit: John P. Cleary/The Herald Bulletin]

The pair, both transplants from Bloomington, worked closely with Anderson University’s Dr. Scott Kennedy to develop a product “which could revolutionize the way people view how products, people and spaces are protected against harmful microbes,” Richardson said.

About five years ago, Coeus was just Parker and Richardson, in a 400-square-foot office in the Flagship main building.

It’s since expanded to Accelerator Building Two, a 40,000 square-foot facility in the Flagship business park, with six direct employees and more than 100 sales people throughout the country.

“In the next three to five years, (Monofoil) will be like Clorox,” Richardson said. “We’ll be a household name.”

He said the company is well on its way — Ultra 7 is already available at Lowe’s stores, Richardson said.

To market Monofoil commercially, they’ve added snazzy labels and introduced an array of package sizes. To make it more affordable, they also offer it with different longevity spans.

They’ve secured some pretty big clients — for example, the Indiana Pacers and Disney World.

“We worked with a local distributor, Flexpac,” to get the Pacers, Richardson said. “We were able to show the multiple benefits of MonoFoil for their team.”

He said Disney World officials decided to use Monofoil “once they saw the spectacular results, drastically reduced labor cost, reduction in harmful chemicals, and positive feedback from their customers from the results.”

Last week, Coeus released a statement that manufacturing would be moved to the Flagship, adding about 16 jobs. Most of the company’s bottling, packaging and delivery are currently outsourced to Illinois and Wisconsin.

The move to the Flagship could happen as early as mid-May, Richardson said, at which time the company could produce between 3.5 and 5 million gallons of its products a year.

That announcement came on the heels of two others made at the Flagship, including the grand opening of Honda parts supplier Greenville Technology Inc., and one from Keihin North America, saying it would consolidate its national headquarters to Anderson. Economic foundation

The fact Coeus is local and — at the moment — smaller than both those companies is important, said Flagship CEO Chuck Staley.

Homegrown companies such as Coeus, “will always continue to support the foundation of a diversified and stable economy,” he said. “The fact is, we need both large and small companies to reach our goals.”

DeWayne Landwehr, Coeus’ chief financial officer, said “Anderson’s seen what happens when you rely too heavily on one” business.

For example, when General Motors, a one-time major employer in Madison County, closed its last Anderson subsidiary, it was “devastating,” he said.

The city has been using its incentive dollars to boost business. Both Keihin and GTI received assistance from the city’s Tax Increment Financing funds, and Coeus got $75,000.

Anderson economic development head Greg Winkler said the city decides how to allocate its incentive dollars based on factors such as “number of jobs, the type of jobs, the amount of payroll, the investment in equipment and real property on which the company will be paying taxes for years to come,” and potential growth.

He said the city could have secured three more companies this year, if it were willing to invest more, but it “passed as the risk and cost outweighed” the return.

Richardson said those dollars were a big part of why Coeus stayed in Anderson to expand.

“The revamped and reinvigorated strategies that are happening at the city government level will surely attract more businesses to Anderson,” he said.

— Baylee Pulliam is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.