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Local Start-up Develops New Hand Sanitizer Made with Natural Ingredients

Local start-up CleanSpot Technologies  introduced its all-natural hand sanitizer this week at a launch reception held on September 13th at Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.  The company, a virtual tenant in STC’s Cecchi VentureLab business incubator, will be shipping the new product out within the next few weeks.  CleanSpot has also launched a crowdfunding campaign that offers supporters access to the first bottles leaving the warehouse.  To learn more, see Kevin Robinson-Avila’s September 13, 2016 article, “ABQ startup launches all-natural hand sanitizer,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below.  To participate in the CleanSpot crowdfunding campaign, go to  http://activeclean.com/ and follow the links.

ABQ startup launches all-natural hand sanitizer

By Kevin Robinson-Avila / Journal Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 at 3:47pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new, made-in-New-Mexico hand sanitizer may soon offer consumers a lot more bang for the buck compared with today’s chemical gels.

ActiveClean, made by Albuquerque startup company CleanSpot Technologies Inc., has created a sanitizer with all-natural ingredients that it said provides not just immediate, but long-lasting protection against bacteria. And, unlike the sticky, medicinal-smelling gels that typically leave  skin dray after evaporating, ActiveClean produces a lemony-pepperment fragrance while softly moisturizing one’s hands, said CleanSpot CEO Chuck Call.

“It’s a dual-mode sanitizer made with all-natural ingredients that offers the same instant bacteria kill as other sanitizers, but also provides persistent, ongoing protection until it’s completely rubbed off,” Call said.

The company, which spent about four years creating ActiveClean, is launching its product this week through a digital marketing campaign that includes video promotion on YouTube and blogs on social media sites. The product will become available for online purchase by consumers next month.

It’s been a long, twisting path to market for the company, which launched in 2011 under a different name and with a different technology. The original company, first called BVB Solutions and later Oligicide Inc., initially licensed an anti-bacterial chemical compound from the University of New Mexico. It planned to market the compound, developed jointly by UNM and the University of Florida, for industry and consumer applications, such as incorporating it into fabrics and textiles to make things like anti-microbial hospital gowns or surgeon’s gloves.

But given the lengthy federal approval process needed to market the new compound, the company altered its strategy in 2012 to focus instead on creating its own, all-natural anti-microbial formula using elements that already have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, Call said.

“We decided to go all natural and target the consumer market segment,” Call said.

The principal ingredients in ActiveClean are ethanol, which kills the bacteria, and beeswax, which adds a moisturizing quality to the formula. Other ingredients include peppermint, citrus, apricot seed oil and vitamin E.

“When the alcohol component evaporates, what’s left over on the surface of the skin remains active, and that’s a unique property for hand sanitizers,” said George Bajszar, the company’s chief biologist.

ActiveClean is also packaged into a palm-sized spray container for use on-the-go, said Connie Dorian, director of manufacturing.

“The beeswax adds a very nice feel to the hands and keeps them from drying out, while other ingredients add a natural, lemon-peppermint fragrance,” Dorian said. “It’s all deliberately packaged into a small container to just slip into your pocket for use anywhere.”

The company has invested about $1.25 million to date to develop its product, including funding from angel investors based in New Mexico. It employs nine people at the BioScience Center, a technology startup incubator in Uptown Albuquerque.