Defense contracts fuel ePack's growth; hires planned

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition served a higher purpose for ePack than the normal networking and fundraising efforts. It helped the Ann Arbor-based company take a serious look at itself.

"It was a good excuse to re-evaluate our business plan and get some feedback," says Jay Mitchell, president of ePack.

Part of that re-evaluation is a tweaking of its focus. The start-up that is developing technology to protect micro devices is shifting its focus from consumer electronics to defense. EPack is self-sustaining, has positive cash flow and is leveraged for growth. Right now two thirds of their revenue is from grants and the other third is from company contracts.

"We're going to focus on the lower-volume and higher-margin markets," Mitchell says.

ePack's two co-founders are now full-time with the company after serving as part-time researchers at the University of Michigan. Mitchell expects to go after more grants and contracts in 2011, which should allow the company to go from two full-time employees and an independent contractor to a staff of 4-5 people full-time.

ePack expects to finish product development and bring it to market within two years. The long-term plan is to reach the point where it can open a manufacturing facility.

Source: Jay Mitchell, president of ePack
Writer: Jon Zemke

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