Modumetal and other category creating companies

I’m often asked about what I look for in startup companies. There really are two answers to this question.

On one hand, for most of my investments I seek a good solid company, with a great management team that can build a good revenue stream in an uncrowded market, which can be acquired at a good premium.

But the ones that get me really excited are those few, rare opportunities to define a completely new category with a world-changing technology. At any point in time, I like to have at least one such company in my portfolio and the current leading candidate is Modumetal (www.modumetal.com). Modumetal owns a category called nanolaminate composite alloys. In essence, they have found a way to make laminated metals that can take advantage of properties that occur at a nano scale. As you can read on their web site:

Modumetal is a new class of nanolaminated materials that will change design and manufacturing forever. Modumetal is going to change the way that engineers make parts, not just by affording the ultra-high performance of its nano-materials, but also by a process that we call Modumetal by Design™. This process allows engineers to bridge design and manufacturing to realize large-scale finished parts from nanoscale building blocks. Modumetal is a revolutionary nanolaminated alloy system that is stronger and lighter than steel AND can run longer and hotter than nickel-alloys AND is more corrosion resistant and costs less than stainless. Modumetal will replace today’s metals, ceramics and composites in applications, starting with military armor – proceeding to cars, planes, buildings and consumer goods. It is the next generation material that represents a sea change in the age-old tradeoffs between cost, weight and performance.

It is still early in the life of the company, so there is still a great deal of risk. The excitement of being part of company that can change the way things work may not be the most disciplined way to do angel investing, but it sure is what I enjoy. Stay tuned.

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