AF3 Receives Funding From the FAA
Published By: The Delaware SBDC
About AF3 Inc.
Located in Bear, Delaware, small startup AF3 Inc. patented a clean replacement for toxic and cancer-causing firefighting foam. This sugar-based formulation (A-zero-F®) is completely benign and has no adverse effect on people or the environment – the product is so safe, it’s drinkable!
This sustainably-focused venture is an exciting example of how innovation and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand to make a real impact. AF3 was excited to receive funding from the FAA, Federal Aviation Administration, to develop a firefighting foam that will replace current toxic foam in all US airports. Through a recent research project with a grant from the FAA in 21/22, AF3 developed a new PFAS-free (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance-free) firefighting foam, A-zero-F® Aviation-Spec™, that passed all tests the FAA ran in preparation for the new fluorine-free MilSpec (MIL-PRF-32725).
The FAA tested 38 products and theirs was one of only two that passed. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) will now repeat these tests to officially qualify foam products and publish the Qualified Products List (QPL) in April. All firefighting foam currently used at DoD military bases worldwide and US civilian airports must be replaced with a PFAS-free product on the QPL – this move aims to eliminate contamination of groundwater by the cancer-causing PFAS “forever chemicals” used in current firefighting foam.
“I am grateful to Bob, Lou, and the Delaware SBDC for their help in navigating the unfamiliar business phases of the startup process. The Delaware SBDC afforded us the ability to gain business knowledge and resources we needed to continue our ascent.” – Jim Sery, AF3 Inc.”
Their startup’s technical strengths helped them reach the summit of a successful R&D and IP stage, but the climb had just begun. Jim Sery and his team needed help navigating unfamiliar and complex paths to market. The Delaware SBDC staff were instrumental in providing training, motivation, and vision for AF3 to attain its business goals. The AF3 team described SBDC advisor, Robert Rausch, as invaluable in creating a business plan and financial projections. The Small Business Development Center also guided them through the process of obtaining funding. The iDEa Lab cohort program provided training in business development and strategy, and a forum to create and practice a successful pitch presentation.
“The Delaware SBDC staff shared in our desire to succeed. They dedicated their time and talent as if they were members of our team. Bob’s advice, business plan, and financial projections helped get us investor funding and the ability to scale up production for this huge upcoming opportunity. We were able to develop innovative surfactant and polymer technology that had great success in passing the multiple rigorous tests of the MilSpec, where the commercial products of many large global companies failed. But Delaware SBDC developed our business knowledge and that is enabling us to bring this new technology to market. Thank you!” – Jim Sery, AF3 Inc.
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