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OSU grads’ company receives major research grant

John Helsley
  (January 10, 2018 at 3:56 pm)

MITO founders Haley Keith and her husband Kevin Keith pose with OSU professor and company CEO Richard Gajan (right) when MITO was recognized previously at the Baylor Business New Venture Competition.

STILLWATER, Okla. – MITO Material Solutions, a company grown by a student from an Oklahoma State University classroom project, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Research grant for $224,988 to conduct research and development on a nano-additive that increases the durability of composite materials utilized in aerospace, recreation and automotive industries.

Haley Keith and her husband Kevin, graduates from OSU, founded MITO and serve as president and vice president. Richard Gajan, a Thoma Family assistant professor entrepreneurship in the OSU Spears School of Business, serves as CEO of MITO.

The additive was developed in OSU’s Helmerich Research Center in Tulsa by Dr. Ranji Vaidyanathan. Haley adopted a business plan for MITO as part of a classroom project in the Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholars Program. The project grew into a full-fledged business that continues to gain traction, with this grant helping in the creation of two engineering positions at inception, while 200 employees are anticipated within five to seven years.

“MITO has never really stopped moving, but the SBIR award allowed us to finally put a lot more fuel in the tank,” Haley said. “Our momentum in 2018 is continuously growing as this grant provides the funds for us to pursue the commercial development of our product with two full-time employees, while securing our Series A funding round.”

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