Paul Fowler (centre) and Sukhbir Karilai (right) on stage at
LiONS LAIR 2018 with emcee Nick Bontis (left)

In 2018, when MesoMat took home top prize at the 8th annual LiONS LAIR competition, their flexible fibres were targeting the wearable tech industry.  Today their focus is on a much larger target.

“Wearables were a great stepping stone to get things going for us,” explained Paul Fowler, co-founder of MesoMat. “But the magnitude of the problems that we are able to solve are much bigger when we think outside of wearables and toward the use of our material as a sensor..”

Fast-forward to 2019 and MesoMat is definitely solving much bigger problems.  The company has taken their stretchable fibres and is now focused on using them as sensors for strain and material deformation. These sensors can be used on things such as airplane wings and wind turbine blades, letting companies monitor their materials and valuable assets.  

MesoMat’s technology has companies excited.  Working with some of the largest chemical companies in the world, MesoMat is also targeting aerospace, and automotive companies as they look to scale and grow.  In March 2019 MesoMat closed an oversubscribed seed financing round of close to US$1M led by a small US based venture capital firm Acequia Capital who were early investors in several highly successful hardware companies including Square.

MesoMat is looking to build an advanced materials company in Hamilton that is solving real challenges in a big way.  “Hamilton is a great place to build a company,” says Fowler. “The talent here is top-notch, and the innovation at McMaster has had an immense amount of success.” 

From the beginning, when MesoMat was just an idea until now, as they prepare to scale their company, Innovation Factory has been a huge support for MesoMat.  “We’re really grateful to Innovation Factory because they have always kept us going. When times were difficult and we didn’t know what to do, iF has always been there to give us a push that is motivating and helps us step forward in a positive way.”  

Joining Lions Lair pushed them to grow in many ways.  “Lions Lair was really crucial for us in understanding how to communicate about our company and our technology,” explains Fowler.

“It was a fantastic learning opportunity. For us to be open to criticism and advice from people who are really experts, was really helpful for us to get to the next phase.  It’s more than just money and prizes; the most valuable thing we took home was the advice.”

And as for advice Fowler would give others looking to follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps? “Be open to various opportunities. I never thought I would start a company or be in the position I’m in, but this is the path that I wound up on and it’s been a lot of fun.” 

Mesomat is an ambitious team of physicists and engineers who are excited to build an advanced materials company that is solving complex problems and accelerating innovation.  For more information on MesoMat visit their website at mesomat.com.

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