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MADE Winners - Functional Product Category

By Staff Reports, posted Mar 9, 2018

Flow Sciences LLC

Year founded: 1987

Number of employees: 60

Top official: Raymond Ryan, president/CEO

Company description: Manufacturer of safety equipment to protect workers from exposure to chemical and biological agents

Target market: Pharmaceutical R&D, biopharma process development and those using hazardous agents in daily activities

Company growth: “We have grown from one person to 60 employees. We sell worldwide and have distributors in more than 35 countries. We have become the standard for work with API (active pharmaceutical ingredients).”

How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “We have utilized the available shipping and ports to deliver products worldwide. We have partnered with community colleges and UNCW to support programs annually.”

How did you originally come up with the concept for your product? “We listened to our customers. The customer told us where they had containment issues, and we engineered and manufactured solutions to solve those issues.”

What are your future goals for the product? “We have many more products we can develop and will do so as revenues increase.”   


Maverick American Spearfishing

Year founded: 2015

Number of employees: 5

Top official: Mark Laboccetta, managing partner

Company description: Manufactures spearguns and spearfishing parts

Target market: Freedivers and spearfisherman and divers nationwide

Company growth: “From two partners and zero employees in 2015 to five employees and a nationwide distribution, we’ve taken 25 years of spearfishing industry experience and brought it to Wilmington and its new employees.”

How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “We use local resources, machine shops and expertise to develop and manufacture our North Carolina- and American-made products.”

How did you originally come up with the concept for your product? “I’ve been involved in the spearfishing industry since 1997. After 15 years of importing, distribution and wholesale of Italian products that turned to Chinese manufacturing I realized that USA, and consequently local North Carolina manufacturing, is where the light is at the end of the tunnel. I can control our small production, the quality piece-by-piece and produce higher quality North Carolina-made products than overseas suppliers in the same category.”  



Year founded: 2014

Number of employees: 6

Top official: Alan W. Brown, founder and CEO; Debbie Brown, principal and president

Company description: A medical device (ophthalmic) design and manufacturing company

Target market: Cataract, refractive and corneal surgeons now, but the company intends to target retina and glaucoma specialists in the near future

Company growth: “Surgilūm’s RoboMarker gained initial awareness when it was named ‘One of the Top Innovations in Cataract Surgery,’ then was a finalist for the International Medical Design Excellence Award. Trade shows, military contracts, a residency initiative and international distribution in Europe and Australia have served to grow the market. Our i Light Speculum launches this year to broaden our product offering.”

What are your future goals for the product? “The Photon Speculum (i Light) goals are to redefine eye illumination allowing previously unseen eye anatomy to become visible while eliminating retinal phototoxicity. After 60 years of standard glare illumination, we plan to make this new method of eye illumination the standard of care for all forms of eye surgery.”

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