Every month, the Simone Center highlights the success stories of student teams who have participated in the activities, competitions and programs held by the faculty and staff of the Simone Center. For more information on these success stories, click the links below:
This Month's Innovation Spotlight Story
June 1, 2017
Kailey Bradt is an alumna of the chemical engineering program at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her career as a chemical engineer started as a research assistant in RIT's Nanopower Research Labs formulating cathode composites for rechargeable lithium ion batteries. She then went on to intern with RR Donnelley to work in the research and development department of the printed electronics division formulating and testing conductive inks for printed RFID and NFC technologies. Kailey's interest in start-ups awakened when she joined DryWired as a chemical engineer during her last co-op block. Upon graduation she continued to grow her experience as DryWired grew. Traveling often for work, she had the idea for a waterless shampoo that had the same effectiveness as a traditional liquid shampoo. As she started to pitch her idea and receive positive feedback, she decided to return to RIT to pursue her master of science in product development and her business idea, OWA Haircare.
At OWA Haircare, their mission is to revolutionize the hair care industry by offering naturally derived, environmentally friendly products to humans who support a sustainable life on planet Earth. OWA is going to be known as THE hair care company for safe and sustainable products through the innovation of natural ingredients.
Liquid shampoo is 70% to 80% water on average. Therefore, they’ve created a product to solve this. Meet Moondust, a shampoo for people who wash their hair at home or on-the-go. Moondust will provide a safe & sustainable option that is lightweight, affordable, effective, and completely waterless. Yes, they’re going waterless and they will be the first company to do so. Removing water doesn’t only save water in the bottle, but saves water through the entire product life cycle. Removing the water allows for OWA to ship a more concentrated product, which saves the need for plastic packaging. Because OWA’s shampoo is so lightweight, they also save energy in the form of electricity and fuel in the supply chain from start to finish.
Kailey explains that the Simone Center has been an invaluable resource in developing her idea and turning it into a business. Taking Richard DeMartino's Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation course gave her an overview of many different aspects of starting a business. Dana Wolcott's coaching has been second to none and she looks forward to continuing to work with him. All of the faculty and staff in the Simone Center have been supportive and encouraging as Kailey creates her new venture. Kailey also just recently won first place with OWA Haircare in the New York State Business Plan Competition in Albany, New York!
OWA's website is expected to launch mid-June 2017. Follow OWA Haircare on facebook and instagram for updates!
The Simone Center is so proud of OWA Haircare and we look forward to watching you develop this starutp into a business!
Stay tuned for next week's Innovation Spotlight Story on Ripple.