We know the impact of local investing is important to our entrepreneurs, community, growth potential, and so much more. But this time, we can see up close what can happen when angel investors put their resources into our local startup companies.
One of the first companies to ever get angel investment through the Entrepreneurs’ Center (EC) angel network, EC Angels, was Hybridworks. This cutting-edge textile recycling technology company was just beginning to test the science of whether its method of separating the polyester from the cotton would work. If successful, Hybridworks founder Bud Honshell knew the market size would be substantial, as work uniforms and other used textiles were going into landfills or incinerated.
EC Angels Sukir Sinnathamby and Trent Fisher were impressed by that market opportunity. With their $30,000 angel investment, Bud tested the science at the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and found it worked in the lab. From there, Bud raised more angel investments to test the process outside of the lab.
And the big news: Hybridworks just secured a $3.2 million seed-series equity investment from a private Midwest-based investor.
“This investment marks a pivotal moment for Hybridworks. It not only validates the breakthrough status of our technology but also strengthens our resolve to drive positive change in the textile industry,” said Bob Fesmire Sr., Hybridworks CEO.
In addition to the initial investment through EC Angels, Hybridworks received non-dilutive funds for critical startup services through the Entrepreneurs’ Center program. Hybridworks has been an EC client for four years. During that time, the EC provided critical funding, including support for R&D efforts at UDRI and third-party quality validation services that helped position Hybridworks for commercialization.
“The Entrepreneurs’ Center has been with us from the start, including helping us find those initial investors. I appreciate all their support as we advanced Hybridworks from vision to reality,” commented Hybridworks Founder Bud Honshell.
The Hybridworks investment also shows the power of an active and engaged angel network like the EC Angels. With that initial investment, our local investors put Hybridworks on a path that enabled them to bring 100x that initial investment to the company. “Hybridworks is a company that happened at the right time, in the right place, with the right business model,” said angel investor Sukir Sinnathamby.
The Hybridworks process offers additional environmental benefits as its design saves labor, lowers energy costs, and conserves water.
Hybridworks is currently developing a pilot plant and signing partnerships with fiber companies, fabric manufacturers, waste management companies, industrial laundries, and fashion houses, which are all in dire need of textile recycling solutions.
Bud Honshell, Hybridworks Founder and COO, explained, “Textile recycling solutions have never been more in-demand than at this very moment. Hybridworks is well-positioned to establish our next-level technologies as a worldwide cornerstone of textile sustainability efforts.”