UM’s Frankel Fund Invests In Coolant Firm’s UM Spinout Tech
ANN ARBOR — The Frankel Commercialization Fund, in collaboration with The Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, today announced that it has invested in Fusion Coolant Systems Inc., developers of an advanced coolant and lubrication system that makes manufacturing more efficient.
The Frankel Fund’s $80,000 investment was part of a $600,000 series A round that also included the Amherst Fund, The Ann Arbor Spark-managed Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and previous investors, including Automation Alley, Detroit Enterprise Fund and the First Step Fund.
The funds will be used to execute a growth plan across the organization including building out sales, marketing, and product development.
One of three student-led venture funds at UM, the Frankel Fund is a pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area. The Fusion Coolant deal marks the fund’s seventh investment and the third investment in a manufacturing enhancement technology company, including SurMod and Arbor Photonics, which was recently acquired by nLight.
“The Frankel Fund provides graduate students unparalleled, behind-the-scenes access to early stage investing,” said Tom Porter, director of the Frankel Fund and executive in residence at the Ross School. “The teams function as independently financed venture capital companies and did a stellar job identifying the investment opportunity in Fusion Coolant and driving the entire due diligence process on behalf of all investors. We were pleased that we could lead this round of investment.”
Detroit-based Fusion Coolant has developed a disruptive metal-working innovation that cools and lubricates metal in a novel way that eliminates the cleaning process for tools and extends machining tool life. The company’s patented CHiP Lube system reduces metalworking cooling fluid costs and cleans without any toxic chemicals. The response to the Fusion Coolant System by customers has been very positive and the company intends to utilize the Frankel Fund seed money to finance new product development and initial customer development.
“It’s gratifying to bring a disruptive metal working coolant technology to market that offers customers the opportunity to achieve the next level of lean manufacturing processes,” said Tom Gross, CEO of Fusion Coolant Systems. “With the lead funding from The Frankel Fund, we’re now able to accelerate our growth and excited to deliver increased value to customers seeking ways to improve productivity while saving money.”
Added Daniel Itsara, scheduled for an MBA in 2013 and a fellow on the Frankel Fund’s tech team: “Not only does the company (Fusion Coolant) have a unique technology with customer traction, but it also has a superbly qualified team that has the understanding and capability to meet the challenges of integrating it into the production environment. In addition, we’ve been able to leverage the Frankel Fund’s resources within the University of Michigan community to provide valuable resources to the team.”
Companies and individuals interested in obtaining funding from the Frankel Fund may find additional details about the application processat www.zli.bus.umich.edu/wvf/frankel_fund.asp.
Fusion Coolant Systems provides an advanced patented carbon dioxide dry coolant and lubrication system called CHiP Lube for use in manufacturing, specifically for the machining and forming of metal or plastic parts. The superior cooling and lubrication provided by the CHiP Lube system increases production rates and dramatically extends tool life.
CHiP Lube outperforms existing metalworking fluid systems and is proven to reduce operating costs while simultaneously improving worker health and eliminating a toxic waste stream from the environment.
More at www.FusionCoolant.com.