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CIT’s Virginia Founders Fund Invests in Industrial Intelligence to Advance the Hazardous Dust Monitoring Market

Cloud-based dust accumulation monitoring system will help prevent fires and explosions in manufacturing, industrial and agricultural processing facilities

Richmond, VA, Jan. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) today announced that Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) has invested in Williamsburg, Va.-based Industrial Intelligence, developer of a continuous dust accumulation monitoring system. Industrial Intelligence’s solution alerts organization operations when dust accumulation levels become unacceptable. The startup plans to use this VFF capital for engineering and development of their prototype, patent expenses and further certification testing.

Combustible dust explosions as a result of dust accumulation are a serious concern in environments such as manufacturing, industrial and agricultural processing facilities. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), enforces regulations requiring companies dealing with combustible dust to maintain limits outlined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which sets the standards to protect facilities from fire and explosion risks. Industrial Intelligence provides a modern technology solution to help organizations prevent dust accumulation, including predictive analytics capabilities to prevent fires and explosions.

“To monitor dust levels today, the methods are mostly manual. We are the first known company in North America that is solving the dust accumulation monitoring problem with modern technology,” said George Armbruster, Founder and Managing Member of Industrial Intelligence. “Our goal is to develop this technology to benefit processing facilities by providing them with an additional monitoring tool to stay in compliance with NFPA standards while simultaneously protecting employee safety. We are grateful for the support of CIT and the Virginia Founders Fund, for enabling us to advance our initiative.”

To help prevent combustible dust explosions in industrial facilities, the startup offers a device that continuously monitors ambient dust concentrations and alerts operations when levels become unacceptable. These detectors are designed to be permanently mounted in explosive dust or non-explosive hazardous dust rated industrial areas, and can interface with a facility’s SCADA system, chart recorder, or other data logging software.

“Millions of dollars are lost every year due to fires and explosions caused by dust, and rising concerns regarding combustible dust in work environments have increased the demand for particulate monitoring systems around the world. Industrial Intelligence is innovating in a market where technology has not previously been used,” said Tom Weithman, Managing Director of CIT GAP Funds. “The company’s highly qualified team has the necessary skills and resources to develop this important technology, benefiting manufacturing facilities by supporting employee safety and physical assets. We look forward to following their journey as they continue to scale.”

Launched in 2018, the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) shines a light on the creativity and impact of entrepreneurs arising from Virginia communities traditionally underserved by risk capital. Through VFF, CIT GAP Funds has committed more than $3 million of its returns for reinvestment in female founders, founders of color, veteran founders, and founders located in regions outside of Northern Virginia, seeking to maximize both the economic development and social equity imperatives of the Commonwealth.

For more information, please visit www.cit.org/gap.

About Industrial Intelligence

Industrial Intelligence LLC was founded to fill an observed need for industrial clients to continuously monitor hazardous and combustible dust inside their facilities.  Furthermore, the goal is for industrial clients to be able to analyze and mitigate their fire developing potential, thus creating predictive analytics. The patented sensor technology will have global certification in accordance with UL and ATEX standards for use in hazardous location areas inside manufacturing facilities.  To achieve these goals, Industrial Intelligence LLC has formed a dynamic team of industry and product development experts to research and develop the sensor technology.  George Armbruster, the Managing Member, has several years of first-hand experience in the industrial dust market and has a great depth of the combustible dust problem.  Based out of Williamsburg, Virginia, Industrial Intelligence plans to continue creating problem solving solutions for manufacturing facilities dealing with hazardous dust issues.  For more information, contact George Armbruster at [email protected].

About the Virginia Founders Fund

Launched in 2018, the Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) is focused on providing venture capital for Virginia’s traditionally underrepresented entrepreneurs. Proceeds from the Center for Innovative Technology’s (CIT) successful GAP Funds investment program are being reinvested into the Virginia economy through the VFF, which specifically supports female, minority, or veteran founders, or other entrepreneurs located in regions outside of Northern Virginia who are emerging into sectors such as software, hardware, life science, cleantech, and technology-enabled services. The VFF works with regional startup initiatives, early-stage funds, and accelerator programs across the Commonwealth to identify strategic opportunities for investment and potential co-investment to leverage additional capital. For more information, please visit https://www.cit.org/virginiafoundersfund/.

About CIT GAP Funds

CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, cleantech, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, CIT GAP Funds has deployed $32.4 million in capital across more than 240 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. CIT GAP Funds’ investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit www.cit.org/gap.

About the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)

Investing in Virginia’s Growth | CIT concentrates on the early commercialization and seed funding stages of innovation, helping innovators and tech entrepreneurs launch and grow new companies, create high paying jobs, and accelerate economic growth throughout the entire state of Virginia. Founded in 1985, CIT accelerates next generation technologies and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development initiatives, and expansion of broadband throughout Virginia. Programs include | CIT GAP Funds | Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Virginia Founders Fund | Smart Communities | Cybersecurity | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | Virginia Research Investment Fund (VRIF) | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information please visit www.cit.org. You can also follow CIT on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

CONTACT: Dan Warren
LaunchTech Communications
443-977-9638
[email protected]

Sara (Pomakoy) Poole
Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
[email protected]

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