October's member highlight is AJ Davis! Innevation Center member Adam (AJ) Davis is the COO of Kremenak NanoTech Inc., a startup company developing an antimicrobial platform material that protects a surface or media from microbial contamination without hazardous chemicals. We spoke to AJ about his company and his view of the Reno entrepreneurial community.
AJ is no stranger to the Nevada Wolf Pack! He is currently getting his MBA from UNR and received his MS in Economics from the University. He learned about the Urchin Black antimicrobial (UBamTM) material at the wedding of his CEO, Dr. Jesse Kremenak. After hearing about the material, he had to get involved. Inspired by natural antimicrobial structures found on dragonfly wings, UBamTM kills microbes by physically shredding the cell with its nanoscale “spiky” texture. This technology could protect surfaces and fluids (such as air and water) from contamination by pathogens.
Prior to joining Kremenak, AJ was a data scientist. He has been able to apply his data science background to analyze patent landscapes and help build an IoT/software platform for production process control.
We asked AJ about the Reno entrepreneurial ecosystem. He believes that Reno has all the components of becoming a hub for technology-based startups. There is a large pool of highly skilled tech labor and successful entrepreneurs who are available as mentors. However, hard-tech and life sciences companies like Kremenak require more capital for technology development and getting to revenue. Having access to seed capital and investors willing to invest in pre-revenue seed and pre-seed stage would help these early-stage tech companies.
Outside of work, AJ loves investing. He’s particularly interested in real estate in medium-sized cities that could fit the Reno growth model. He’s also fascinated by the emerging decentralization and democratization of investing fueled by technologies such as blockchain. AJ and his fiancée also enjoy volunteering their time as mentors for the Big Brother Big Sisters organization. You can find AJ snowboarding, trying new restaurants, hiking with his dogs, and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers.