GREENSBORO – Greensboro-based Kepley BioSystems (KBI), developer of a reusable, synthetic bait for the lobster and crab fisheries and other marine technologies, is one of only 11 U.S. companies invited to America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Client Showcase in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 13.

Kepley and other small technology companies will showcase disruptive innovations and solutions to urgent social and environmental challenges. The event will be held on Capitol Hill in the Rayburn House Office Building.

KBI founders Anthony Dellinger and Christopher Kepley will present the company’s patent-pending marine technologies “that address an array of challenges with global impact, share the company’s vision for interventional ecology, and discuss the growth that a partnership with the SBDC networks can foster,” the company said in a news release.

Kepley was nominated by the Triad Service Center of the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC).

In 2014, Dellinger, president of KBI, approached the Triad Service Center seeking its expertise to successfully assist with a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant proposal to the National Science Foundation.

KBI has subsequently participated in other SBTDC programs in North Carolina to accelerate the company’s progress, including intellectual property protection. Now seeking investment capital to continue product optimization and begin commercialization, KBI hopes to access future resources from the SBTDC, Dellinger said.

“Working with the professionals in the SBDC network has been amazing,” he said. “I would highly recommend that any entrepreneur or small business owner reach out to their local SBDC consultant for their expertise and assistance.”

The mission of the America’s network of SBDCs is to help new entrepreneurs realize the dream of business ownership and to assist existing businesses to remain competitive.

Hosted by leading universities, colleges and state economic development agencies, and funded in part by Congress through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, nearly 1,000 service centers are available to provide no-cost business consulting and low-cost training.

Many services available at SBDCs

“What SBDCs do, their impact and value to aspiring and growing businesses, is best told through their clients’ success,” said Charles Rowe, president, and CEO of America’s SBDC. “SBDC clients not only have revolutionary products and services, they are hardworking, dedicated, and a group we couldn’t be more proud of. We only wish we could feature all [of the] tens of thousands of businesses we help every year.”

Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for free face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on topics including business plans, capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development and international trade.

Founded in September 1984, North Carolina’s SBTDC is the business and technology extension service of the University of North Carolina, which oversees the 16 constituent institutions of the university. The SBTDC is administered by North Carolina State University and operated in partnership with U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBTDC provides knowledge, education and other supportive resources to existing small and mid-sized businesses, emerging entrepreneurs and local and state leaders.

KBI developing more than sustainable bait

KBI, founded in 2013, is focused on disruptive innovation and solutions to global problems. It is developing a sustainable, synthetic crustacean and pelagic fish bait; redefining aquaculture feeds; developing enriched feed for migrating shorebirds; ranching horseshoe crabs to sustainably harvest Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL), a substance vital to ensuring the safety of pharmaceuticals and medical devices; bringing laboratory quality to bedside testing (including a screening test for septicemia); and introducing an autologous therapy for breast cancer as an alternative to chemotherapy.

KBI originated at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, a partnership of North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The company is located at the Gateway University Research Park near the Joint School.

In 2017 the North Carolina Biotechnology Center awarded Kepley a $3,000 industrial internship to provide expertise that could help the company’s commercialization efforts.

(C) N.C. Biotechnology Center