Security type: Common stock
Round size: Up to $1.07 million under Reg. CF
Share price: $1.70
Minimum investment: $100.30
Investment portal: Netcapital
Deadline: May 1, 2021
After 100 years, plastic is still being used in new ways. A decade ago my lawn mower was made with a steel frame and handle. Now I use a lawn mower made of plastic. It’s lighter and more maneuverable. And it’s probably extended my lawn mowing years by a good decade. (I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.)
When my wife and I were looking at toy carpet sweepers for our month-old grandson, they were all made of plastic. When we bought the very same toy for our kids 30 years ago, they were all made of wood.
Plastic was the world’s first entirely synthetic material. It was lightweight, strong and resilient. And the millions of ways it could be used couldn’t even be imagined at the time. But its now-pervasive impact is undeniable. From toys to cars to heavy industry, plastics are everywhere. Today, I’m introducing you to something that could have the same impact as plastic and the startup that invented this amazing new material — BNNano.
BNNano has created a unique and enhanced boron nitride nanotube — dubbed the NanoBarb. It’s like rebar at the molecular level. When added to commodities (like aluminum), it improves a material’s natural properties, performance and versatility. It’s stable at extremely high temperatures. It’s both an electrical insulator and thermal conductor, and it provides better connection/adherence to materials. It also has higher quality and purity than anything else on the market (or under development). The NanoBarb is far superior — and much cheaper — than anything available now.
Because of all its special capabilities, dozens — if not hundreds — of commercial usages that have previously been considered impossible could become reality.
Take nuclear fusion. In powder form, BNNano’s material could help keep volatile nuclear fusion plasma reactors under control. That’s because the powder is inert — meaning it doesn’t react with anything or catch fire. Some other amazing uses for the NanoBarb include…
- Giving aluminum the strength of steel or titanium.
- Serving as a nanoscale syringe. Remarkably, the material can align water molecules into square shapes like a square rod (according to Rice University engineers). It could possibly be used to deliver water molecules to targeted cells.
- Making polyester behave like Kevlar.
- Making plastic (instead of aluminum) heat sinks.
The World’s Top Performing Nanotube
Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) were first synthesized in the 1990s. The properties of BNNTs have long been recognized as exceptional. A 2020 scientific abstract (from “Boron Nitride Nanotube (BNNT) Membranes for Energy and Environmental Applications“) describes BNNTs this way:
BNNTs have been attracting tremendous attention due to their unique properties, including high permselectivity, mechanical strength, thermal conductivity, electrically insulating behavior, piezoelectric properties, neutron shielding capability, oxidation resistance, etc.
Business Insider states that “within the next decade, planes could be capable of traveling across the country by hypersonic flight in less than an hour — all it would take is some boron nitride.”
NASA, the U.S. Air Force and numerous academic and governmental labs have identified BNNTs as necessary to advance future technologies.
So why haven’t you heard of this miracle material? Because nobody has been able to figure out the exact formulation that would harness the material’s remarkable capabilities. NASA has spent tens of millions of dollars on a company much older than BNNano hoping to produce a viable solution. And it still has a long way to go.
But BNNano has solved the technological problems that have stymied other companies. Its BNNT is ten times less expensive than this other company’s and has twice the purity.
BNNano is now using the same determination that drove it to build the technology to build out its business. It has numerous customers trying out its product. But be advised — it’s not a fast process. It never is with game-changing technology. And in terms of impact and disruption, I’d put BNNano’s technology in the top 2% of game-changing startups I’ve come across in the past 20 years.
Adoption will take time. So if you’re looking for an overnight success, BNNano is not for you. But if you’re looking for a company whose technology can reinvent at least a dozen or so industries to start off with (and many more down the line), then there’s no better candidate than BNNano. In the next decade, boron nitride technology will likely be deployed in the automotive, aerospace, space, defense, electronics, motors, microelectronics, textiles, metals, plastics and 3D printing industries. Future applications a little further down the road include fire prevention, water purification, biomedical, hypersonics, composites, radiation protection and green energy.
The business potential is beyond promising. It’s off the charts. The market is unfathomably large. We can’t imagine all its uses right now… just like we couldn’t with plastic at a similarly early stage. But it’s certainly big enough to accommodate several big winners.
That said, BNNano is currently the only company with a commercially viable manufacturing process for boron nitride nanotubes. The use cases are so varied, obvious and compelling that BNNano has garnered strong interest from the private and public sectors in the U.S. and abroad… without any kind of sales force or systematic outreach program in place.
Co-founder and CEO Steve Wilcenski plans for sales and outreach to be the next step. Before co-founding BNNano, Steve was the president and general manager for the MEMS Business Unit of MEMSCAP, a company that provides solutions based on microelectromechanical systems. He has plenty of experience and is more than qualified to lead the company’s next phase.
And Steve is in a position to leverage the company’s numerous competitive advantages and headstart. Its costs are much lower than any competitor. It can easily scale production. Its quality is higher, and its IP portfolio protects its technology. BNNano can and is selling a fully-developed product right now in the U.S., Japan, Korea and Europe. It’s sold to NASA as well as various government and military-related agencies.
If you choose to invest, your money will be used to expand manufacturing and hire high-level personnel to help Steve out. The upside is so large, it’s hard to pin down. It’s bound to attract even more competitors. But right now BNNano’s hand is the strongest of the bunch. That’s what I call an irresistible investment opportunity.
How to Invest
Go to the BNNano investment page on Netcapital.com. If you don’t have an account on Netcapital, you’ll be prompted to create one. Then follow the steps and fill out the required information. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Then click on the orange box that says “Invest.”
Now choose the payment method that works best for you to transfer the funds. Your money will be held by an escrow agent until the deal closes, when it will be transferred to BNNano, and you will officially own a piece of this exciting, innovative company.
This opportunity, like all early-stage investments, is risky. Early-stage investments often fail. BNNano might need to raise another round of funding in a year or two, if not sooner.
If it executes well, this shouldn’t be a problem. But that’s a risk worth considering when investing in early-stage companies. The investment you’re making is NOT liquid. Expect to hold your position for five to 10 years. An earlier exit is always possible but should not be expected.
All that said, I believe BNNano offers an attractive risk-reward ratio.