Spintech raises $4.25M

Spintech, a shape-memory polymer tooling solutions company based in Xenia, recently wrapped up a $3.75M funding growth round with a $500K oversubscription.

“We’re thrilled with the faith our investors and customers are putting in us,” President & CEO Craig Jennings said.

Spintech makes Smart Tools that allow customers to make composite parts. These tools arrive at the customer’s factory formed to shape and rigid, ready for a part to be made around them. The composite part is laid up on the Smart Tool and put in an oven to cure. Once the part is cured, the Smart Tool is heated to a targeted temperature that causes it to lose its rigidity and become highly flexible, allowing the worker to simply pull the Smart Tool out of the cured part and drop it in its mold, where it returns to its original formed shape to be used again.

These tools are primarily used by companies manufacturing parts for the aerospace and defense industries. Parts made using Spintech Smart Tools can be found in commercial space rockets, unmanned aircraft vehicles, jet engines, helicopters, and business jets, Craig shared.

The Smart Tools enable manufacturers to make parts that are geometrically complex — think parts with ridges or small openings on the ends, elements that make it impossible to get solid metal tools out of the composite part without breaking it. Traditional methods for making such parts are labor- and material-intensive, such as pouring a ceramic mold, making the part, then using a power sprayer to break up the ceramic mold and wash it out of the inside of the finished part.

Craig’s journey to Spintech began in 2009. He was hired by the Dayton Development Coalition’s Entrepreneurial Signature Program team to review 14 new technologies at Cornerstone Research Group’s Beavercreek labs. Of the 14 new technologies, Craig identified four with solid near-term market prospects and wrote plans to commercialize them. Cornerstone Research CEO Dr. Patrick Hood then tapped Craig to implement the plan he drafted for the shape-memory polymer technologies.

Before Spintech, Craig began his career at General Motors, putting the first robots onto plant floors. He helped scale a Silicon Valley tech company, then returned to Ohio in 1989 for an opportunity at then-startup robotics company Motoman. By the time he left in 2008, he’d served as company president for more than a decade and led the company’s growth in annual revenue to $165M.

For Spintech’s first three years, its main customer was Spirit, a manufacturing company in Kansas that was scaling the technology to make a fuselage for single-aisle commercial jet airplanes. In 2014, Spirit’s market shifted and this work ended. Spintech was a startup all over again, Craig recalled.

In 2016, the company reinvented its Smart Tool-making process, significantly lowering the cost to the customer. By the end of 2018, Spintech had more than doubled its sales from the year prior. It expects to double sales again this year.

The $4.25M Series A funding round will enable Spintech to aggressively ramp up marketing and expand its salesforce.

“We’re positioned for aggressive growth well into the future,” Craig said.

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