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story.lead_photo.caption Adam Jokerst, an engineer at BlueInGreen LLC, sets up a pump. The company sells watertreatment systems that add substances including dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide and ozone into water. - Photo by Michael Woods

A Fayetteville-based water treatment technology company is hoping an international award it recently won will lead to more investor interest and sales both at home and abroad.

Photo by Michael Woods
Scott Osborn (right), chief technology officer at BlueInGreen LLC, and applications engineer Adam Jokerst test a pump. The Fayetteville water-treatment company recently won a technology award.

BlueInGreen LLC won a major "green" technology award from The Global Cleantech Cluster Association earlier this month. BlueInGreen was selected as the grand prize winner of the association's Later Stage Awards at its Green Summit in Taiwan.

The selection was made through use of the KeyStone Compact business assessment, and an investor jury led by Dr. Peter Adriaens of the University of Michigan.

"It's a validation of our technology and our business model," said John Kucharik, president of BlueInGreen.

He said the competition measured BlueInGreen against a broad cross-section of other clean technology companies worldwide and the win gave BlueInGreen significant exposure.

"We were introduced to a network of customers and investors on a global scale," Kucharik said.

BlueInGreen sells a variety of systems that add substances including dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide or ozone into water for water treatment applications. The company was founded in 2004 by Scott Osborn and Marty Matlock, both University of Arkansas professors. Osborn sits on BlueInGreen's board of trustees, and Matlock serves as an adviser.

The company's headquarters is at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park and employs 13. It is a VIC Technology Venture Development portfolio company.

Over the past few years BlueInGreen has focused on sales in the U.S. and and Canada, with about 80 percent of the sales going to municipalities and the remainder to industrial customers. Kucharik declined to give specific numbers but said the company is on track to double its revenue for 2015 and projects similar growth for next year.

BlueInGreen was nominated for the award by the Arkansas Cleantech Cluster Association. The Arkansas group will host next year's award ceremony in Little Rock in December 2016.

Adriaens said the top 30 is initially selected from a field of several hundred nominees. That group is trimmed to a top 10, and from that top 10 group BlueInGreen was selected the grand prize winner.

The Keystone Compact assessment is a mathematical tool that is used to weigh the various contestants from around the world and in different sectors, fairly and competitively, Adriaens wrote in an email. He is also CEO of the Keystone Compact Group.

"How do you compare a company from Singapore to one from Ireland, to one from Arkansas?" Adriaens wrote. "There are business model characteristics that lend themselves to a business model risk rating typology, much like S&P or Moody's rate company credit risk."

He said what made BlueInGreen stand out against the other contestants was its strong business model scores when stacked against its competitors.

Winners have seen investment follow a victory. Since the association first started tracking the award winners in 2012, the aggregate of top 10 awardees have attracted between $220 million and $450 million in debt and equity financing, Adriaens said.

Jeff Amerine, founder of Startup Junkie Consulting in Fayetteville, said past winners of this contest have generated significant blue chip customer and private equity interest.

"The fact that it was a competitive selection using objective criteria just makes the award that much more meaningful," Amerine said in response to an email question.

SundayMonday Business on 11/30/2015

Print Headline: Fayetteville firm wins tech award

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