By LEE J. KAHRS
BRANDON — A Brandon-based start up company has been chosen for the LaunchVT 2020 Accelerator Cohort.
In other words, Jeff Dardozzi and Stephen Krauth are getting a little help launching their product through their company, Skri Technologies. Dardozzi and Krauth have developed a wireless erosion sensor for the concrete pumping industry.
LaunchVT is a program available through the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce that has provided business development support, strategic coaching, and over $700,000 in funding and services to accelerate 51 Vermont startups.
The Accelerator Cohort is the group of eight businesses chosen annually by LaunchVT. For the past eight years, the program has offered coaching and strategic advisors to refine business models and prepare to launch the products or services being developed over a nine-week accelerator.
The program will culminate with a Virtual Demo Night on July 23, where the cohort of founders will pitch their businesses to investors and the public. Thanks to a partnership with Hula, one business will be accepted into their portfolio and receive a minimum investment of $10,000 and access to their acceleration services. All eight businesses will share $100,000 in professional services from LaunchVT partners.
In an interview Tuesday, Dardozzi said the erosion sensor he and Krauth developed will detect cracks and irregularities in concrete pumping lines and machinery so they can be repaired before they rupture. Right now, ruptures often occur while concrete is being pumped because the pipes are under high pressure and there is no way to detect problems in the lines. The ruptures can be very dangerous, resulting in injury or death and thousands of dollars in damage, Dardozzi said.
“Concrete is very gritty and eventually wears out components in the concrete pumping machinery,” he said. “Right now, you have to manually inspect the pipes. The monitor does that wirelessly and automatically.”
The Skri Technologies monitor is designed for concrete pumping for high-rise buildings and the mining industry, Dardozzi said.
An architect and builder, Dardozzi said he became aware of the issue when a concrete pumping pipe ruptured on a building site where he was working.
“The driver of the concrete truck said they never knew when a rupture would happen,” he said. “The monitor gives some control and awareness of the condition of the equipment before it goes to work.”
Dardozzi said this is the second Launch VT accelerator Skri Technology has been involved in.
“This project is more involved and (the grant process) will help get us ready to launch,” he said. “This helps polish us up and put us in front of investors. This will bring us into alignment with what investors are expecting.”
Dardozzi said they will be testing the monitor with clients soon and that the product should be ready for market by the end of the year.
“LaunchVT does a great job,” he said. “They are very smart people. They know what they’re doing and we’re very excited to be selected by them.”