A brand new business started by University of Nevada students got a big leg up Wednesday.
Three students at the university started the company EscaZyme Biochemicals, and they entered a contest for a $50,000 startup grant from the Sontag Foundation.
The group said they are going to use the money to build their business right here in Reno.
"There is a fledgling biotech industry in Nevada," EscaZyme founder Jennifer Ott said. "We are really excited to be a part of that, and help grow it, and bring in talent that hopefully one day we can hire."
EscaZyme's business plan is to make chemicals for a variety of different industries, such as pharmaceuticals, fragrances, and pest control. Their model was chosen by the Sontag Foundation in their annual competition. The foundation gave $1 million to the university back in 2011 to help kick start entrepreneurs.
EscaZyme came about when three students at the university merged their business know-how and their research on something unusual-- bark beetles.
"[My partners] have been researching bark beetles for a very long time now," Ott said. "It's through enzymatic processes through bark beetles that we were able to create chemicals cheaper, faster, and with higher purity than what's on the market today."
And EscaZyme already has its first client, a company in Vancouver. The students said the startup money will help them buy materials and equipment so they can start production right away.
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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