Mont Handley Entrepreneur in Residence at Purdue Northwest Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center
Mont Handley serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Associate Director of the Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center (CMEC), in Hammond, Indiana.
Prior to the appointment at PNW/CMEC, Mont invented and patented a soilless, sustainable, plant growing medium that is made from recycled paper. With support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, PittMoss® was proven scientifically feasible through independent growth trials. He began the effort to commercialize the innovation from funds cashed out his 401k and from the sale of his house. He built a full scale proof of concept manufacturing facility to attract customers, investors and business partners. From a field of 40,000 hopefuls, Mont was invited to pitch PittMoss® on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ and he netted a three-shark deal.
Subsequently, $1.2 Million dollars was raised from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban and other angel investors. The company, which has double sales every year it has existed, was featured on ABC’s last season of ‘Beyond the Tank’.
Recognized as one of the most successful EPA/SBIR funded projects, the Obama administration bestowed the prestigious Tibbetts Award on Handley and PittMoss®.
Handley is in the incubation stage with his invention and new company that will lead to robotic and automated greenhouses. The new venture recently received support from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) and is pursuing SBIR funding to commercialize POTplugs.