Originally posted on Business @ the U of M:
Frank Thibodeau of Artiman Ventures, a Palo Alto venture capital firm, is on a mission. For the past four years, Thibodeau has been tenaciously pursuing ways to improve the quality of a certain class of composite materials, the reinforced plastics used to make a broad variety of high performance products in the aerospace, automotive, marine and sports equipment industries. Think spaceships, race cars, boat hulls and tennis rackets.
Thibodeau, who is well versed in the science and economics of composite materials, wanted explore new techniques for making stronger, more versatile composites that are less costly to produce than the current models. Armed with some promising initial data from research at the University of Hawaii, Thibodeau sought out the right expertise to test these theories. He found that talent in an interdisciplinary research team in the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering.