Adaptive Materials (AMI) makes fuel cells that provide a 10x improvement over battery power. Aaron Crumm, AMI's president, describes how the company started and how the company has protected its IP.
In this 8 minute segment (download iPod compatible, 41MB), Aaron Crumm lays out the value proposition for Adaptive Materials, Inc. (AMI). AMI makes fuel cells for the military and high-end electronics applications. Fuel cells typically provide ten times (10x) the energy per weight as batteries resulting in a substantial weight savings for users. AMI has developed a unique, patented process for making fuel cells with ceramics and propane. The use of ceramics grew out of Aaron's PhD work at University of Michigan.
In a manufacturing business, like AMI's, based on unique processes, patent or intellectual property (IP) protection is critical. Aaron views patents as the rite of entry to compete in the market. They allow him to negotiate with large firms that might otherwise swallow his markets. The protect his core business by providing road blocks to near competitors and a ring fence to keep them out.
In future segments, we will discuss AMI's manufacturing and distribution strategy.